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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English ydolatrie, from Old French idolatrie, from Ecclesiastical Latin īdōlatrīa, from Late Latin īdōlolatrīa, from Ancient Greek εἰδωλολατρίᾱ (eidōlolatríā, worship of idols), back-formation from εἰδωλολάτρης (eidōlolátrēs), from εἴδωλον (eídōlon, idol) + λάτρις (látris, worshipper) or λατρεύω (latreúō, I worship), from λάτρον (látron, payment). Equivalent to idol +‎ -latry. Cognate with Modern French idolâtrie, Italian idolatria, Occitan ydolatria, Portuguese idolatria, and Spanish idolatría. Displaced native Old English dēofolġield (literally devil worship).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /aɪˈdɒl.ə.tɹiː/
  • (US) enPR: ī-dŏ'lə-trē, IPA(key): /aɪˈdɑ.lə.tɹi/
  • (file)


idolatry (countable and uncountable, plural idolatries)

  1. The worship of idols.
    Synonym: avodah zarah
    • 1902, John Buchan, The Outgoing of the Tide:
      The parish stank of idolatry, abominable rites were practiced in secret, and in all the bounds there was no one had a more evil name for the black traffic than one Alison Sempill, who bode at the Skerburnfoot.
  2. The excessive admiration of somebody or something.
    Synonyms: adoration, reverence, worship

Related terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]