What does idea mean?

Definitions for ideaaɪˈdi ə, aɪˈdiə

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word idea.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. idea, thought(noun)

    the content of cognition; the main thing you are thinking about

    "it was not a good idea"; "the thought never entered my mind"

  2. mind, idea(noun)

    your intention; what you intend to do

    "he had in mind to see his old teacher"; "the idea of the game is to capture all the pieces"

  3. idea(noun)

    a personal view

    "he has an idea that we don't like him"

  4. estimate, estimation, approximation, idea(noun)

    an approximate calculation of quantity or degree or worth

    "an estimate of what it would cost"; "a rough idea how long it would take"

  5. theme, melodic theme, musical theme, idea(noun)

    (music) melodic subject of a musical composition

    "the theme is announced in the first measures"; "the accompanist picked up the idea and elaborated it"


  1. idea(Noun)

    An abstract archetype of a given thing, compared to which real-life examples are seen as imperfect approximations; pure essence, as opposed to actual examples.

  2. idea(Noun)

    The conception of someone or something as representing a perfect example; an ideal.

  3. idea(Noun)

    The form or shape of something; a quintessential aspect or characteristic.

  4. idea(Noun)

    An image of an object that is formed in the mind or recalled by the memory.

    The mere idea of you is enough to excite me.

  5. idea(Noun)

    More generally, any result of mental activity; a thought, a notion; a way of thinking.

    Ideas won't go to jail.u2014A. Whitney Griswold (1952)

  6. idea(Noun)

    A conception in the mind of something to be done; a plan for doing something, an intention.

    I have an idea of how we might escape.

  7. idea(Noun)

    A vague or fanciful notion; a feeling or hunch; an impression.

    He had the wild idea that if he leant forward a little, he might be able to touch the mountain-top.

  8. idea(Noun)

    A musical theme or melodic subject.

  9. Origin: From idea, from ἰδέα, from εἴδω.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Idea(noun)

    the transcript, image, or picture of a visible object, that is formed by the mind; also, a similar image of any object whatever, whether sensible or spiritual

  2. Idea(noun)

    a general notion, or a conception formed by generalization

  3. Idea(noun)

    hence: Any object apprehended, conceived, or thought of, by the mind; a notion, conception, or thought; the real object that is conceived or thought of

  4. Idea(noun)

    a belief, option, or doctrine; a characteristic or controlling principle; as, an essential idea; the idea of development

  5. Idea(noun)

    a plan or purpose of action; intention; design

  6. Idea(noun)

    a rational conception; the complete conception of an object when thought of in all its essential elements or constituents; the necessary metaphysical or constituent attributes and relations, when conceived in the abstract

  7. Idea(noun)

    a fiction object or picture created by the imagination; the same when proposed as a pattern to be copied, or a standard to be reached; one of the archetypes or patterns of created things, conceived by the Platonists to have excited objectively from eternity in the mind of the Deity


  1. Idea

    In philosophy, the term idea has been used to cover a range of concepts. Ideas are often construed as mental representational images; i.e., images of some object. In other contexts, ideas are taken to be concepts, although abstract concepts do not necessarily appear as images. Many philosophers have considered ideas to be a fundamental ontological category of being. The capacity to create and understand the meaning of ideas is considered to be an essential and defining feature of human beings. In a popular sense, an idea arises in a reflex, spontaneous manner, even without thinking or serious reflection, for example, when we talk about the idea of a person or a place.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Idea

    ī-dē′a, n. an image of an external object formed by the mind: a notion, thought, any product of intellectual action—of memory and imagination: an archetype of the manifold varieties of existence in the universe, belonging to the supersensible world, where reality is found and where God is (Platonic); one of the three products of the reason (the Soul, the Universe, and God) transcending the conceptions of the understanding—transcendental ideas, in the functions of mind concerned with the unification of existence (Kantian); the ideal realised, the absolute truth of which everything that exists is the expression (Hegelian).—adjs. Idē′aed, Idē′a'd, provided with an idea or ideas; Idē′al, existing in idea: mental: existing in imagination only: the highest and best conceivable, the perfect, as opposed to the real, the imperfect.—n. the highest conception of anything.—adj. Idē′aless.—n. Idealisā′tion, act of forming an idea, or of raising to the highest conception.—v.t. Idē′alise, to form an idea: to raise to the highest conception.—v.i. to form ideas.—ns. Idē′alīser; Idē′alism, the doctrine that in external perceptions the objects immediately known are ideas, that all reality is in its nature psychical: any system that considers thought or the idea as the ground either of knowledge or existence: tendency towards the highest conceivable perfection, love for or search after the best and highest: the imaginative treatment of subjects; Idē′alist, one who holds the doctrine of idealism, one who strives after the ideal: an unpractical person.—adj. Idealist′ic, pertaining to idealists or to idealism.—n. Ideal′ity, ideal state: ability and disposition to form ideals of beauty and perfection.—adv. Idē′ally, in an ideal manner: mentally.—n. Idē′alogue, one given to ideas: a theorist.—v.i. Idē′ate, to form ideas.—adj. produced by an idea.—n. the correlative or object of an idea.—n. Ideā′tion, the power of the mind for forming ideas: the exercise of such power.—adjs. Ideā′tional, Idē′ative. [L.,—Gr. ideaidein, to see.]

Suggested Resources

  1. IDEA

    What does IDEA stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the IDEA acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'idea' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #445

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'idea' in Written Corpus Frequency: #371

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'idea' in Nouns Frequency: #66

Anagrams for idea »

  1. aide, daie


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of idea in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of idea in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Creator Philip Rosenthal:

    We had an idea.

  2. Jessica Shepherd:

    It’s a great idea.

  3. Idina Menzel:

    You know, I have no idea.

  4. Philippine Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay:

    I am averse to that idea.

  5. John Fernandez:

    I got the idea from Lotus.

Images & Illustrations of idea

  1. ideaideaidea

Translations for idea

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