Meaning of IDEAL in English


I. ī-ˈdē(-ə)l, ˈī-ˌ adjective

Etymology: Middle English ydeall, from Late Latin idealis, from Latin idea

Date: 15th century

1. : existing as an archetypal idea


a. : existing as a mental image or in fancy or imagination only ; broadly : lacking practicality

b. : relating to or constituting mental images, ideas, or conceptions


a. : of, relating to, or embodying an ideal

ideal beauty

b. : conforming exactly to an ideal, law, or standard : perfect

an ideal gas

— compare real 2b(3)

4. : of or relating to philosophical idealism

II. noun

Date: 15th century

1. : a standard of perfection, beauty, or excellence

2. : one regarded as exemplifying an ideal and often taken as a model for imitation

3. : an ultimate object or aim of endeavor : goal

4. : a subset of a mathematical ring that is closed under addition and subtraction and contains the products of any given element of the subset with each element of the ring

Synonyms: see model

• ide·al·less ī-ˈdē(-ə)l-ləs adjective

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.