idea


idea
idealess, adj.
/uy dee"euh, uy deeeu"/, n.
1. any conception existing in the mind as a result of mental understanding, awareness, or activity.
2. a thought, conception, or notion: That is an excellent idea.
3. an impression: He gave me a general idea of how he plans to run the department.
4. an opinion, view, or belief: His ideas on raising children are certainly strange.
5. a plan of action; an intention: the idea of becoming an engineer.
6. a groundless supposition; fantasy.
7. Philos.
a. a concept developed by the mind.
b. a conception of what is desirable or ought to be; ideal.
c. (cap.) Platonism. Also called form. an archetype or pattern of which the individual objects in any natural class are imperfect copies and from which they derive their being.
d. Kantianism. See idea of pure reason.
8. Music. a theme, phrase, or figure.
9. Obs.
a. a likeness.
b. a mental image.
[1400-50; < LL < Gk idéa form, pattern, equiv. to ide- (s. of ideîn to see) + -a fem. n. ending; r. late ME idee < MF < LL, as above; akin to WIT1]
Syn. 1, 2. IDEA, THOUGHT, CONCEPTION, NOTION refer to a product of mental activity. IDEA, although it may refer to thoughts of any degree of seriousness or triviality, is commonly used for mental concepts considered more important or elaborate: We pondered the idea of the fourth dimension. The idea of his arrival frightened me.
THOUGHT, which reflects its primary emphasis on the mental process, may denote any concept except the more weighty and elaborate ones: I welcomed his thoughts on the subject. A thought came to him. CONCEPTION suggests a thought that seems complete, individual, recent, or somewhat intricate: The architect's conception delighted them. NOTION suggests a fleeting, vague, or imperfect thought: a bare notion of how to proceed. 4. sentiment, judgment.

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Universalium. 2010.

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