An idol can be a religious image or a person who people admire and maybe even seem to worship. A statue of a Hindu god is a religious idol, but Madame Curie is an idol to aspiring scientists.

The word idol comes from the Old French idole for "pagan god," through the Greek eidolon for “reflection in water or a mirror.” In religion, an idol isn’t the real deity but a representation of it. These days, rock stars and celebrities are idols, but so are scientists and writers. If you say Flannery O’ Connor is your idol, you don’t mean you bow down before a statue of the Southern writer, it just means you admire her big time.

Definitions of idol
  1. noun
    a material effigy that is worshipped
    synonyms: god, graven image
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    golden calf
    (Old Testament) an idol made by Aaron for the Israelites to worship; destroyed by Moses; it is now used to refer to anything worshipped undeservedly
    a Chinese god worshipped in the form of an idol
    a crude idol of Krishna
    type of:
    effigy, image, simulacrum
    a representation of a person (especially in the form of sculpture)
  2. noun
    someone who is adored blindly and excessively
    synonyms: icon, matinee idol
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    an object of infatuation
    type of:
    lead, principal, star
    an actor who plays a principal role
  3. noun
    an ideal instance; a perfect embodiment of a concept
    synonyms: beau ideal, paragon, perfection
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    gold standard
    a paragon of excellence
    type of:
    the idea of something that is perfect; something that one hopes to attain
Word Family

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