Meaning of IDEAL in English


I. (ˈ)ī|dē(ə)l, -diəl adjective

Etymology: French or Late Latin; French idéal, from Late Latin idealis, from Latin idea + -alis -al


a. : existing as a mere mental image : existing in fancy or imagination only : imaginary , hypothetical

confusing ideal and concrete things

broadly : lacking practicality : visionary

a purely ideal concept of society

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

life and death appeared to me ideal bounds — Mary W. Shelley

c. : embodying or symbolizing an idea

2. : of or relating to an ideal or to perfection of kind : existing as a perfect exemplar : embodying or symbolizing an ideal

ideal beauty

an ideal moral character

3. : existing as a patterning or archetypal idea ; usually : of or relating to Platonic ideas

4. : of or relating to philosophical idealism

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: French or German; French idéal, from German ideal, from ideal- (as in idealform ideal form), from Late Latin idealis, adjective


a. : a conception of something in its highest perfection

a perfect circle is an ideal impossible to construct

b. : a standard of perfection, beauty, or excellence believed to be capable of realization or attainment

the ideals of our civilization

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

considered the older man his ideal

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

their ideal was a quiet unhurried life

4. : a subset of a ring that contains as an element the sum or difference of any two elements and the product of any element with an element of the ring

the integers ending in 0 are an ideal in the ring of all integers

Synonyms: see model

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.