Idea

Definition of Idea

I`de´a
n.1.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.
Her sweet idea wandered through his thoughts.
- Fairfax.
Being the right idea of your father
Both in your form and nobleness of mind.
- Shak.
This representation or likeness of the object being transmitted from thence [the senses] to the imagination, and lodged there for the view and observation of the pure intellect, is aptly and properly called its idea.
- P. Browne.
2.A general notion, or a conception formed by generalization.
Alice had not the slightest idea what latitude was.
- L. Caroll.
3.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.
Whatsoever the mind perceives in itself, or as the immediate object of perception, thought, or undersanding, that I call idea.
- Locke.
4.A belief, option, or doctrine; a characteristic or controlling principle; as, an essential idea; the idea of development.
That fellow seems to me to possess but one idea, and that is a wrong one.
- Johnson.
What is now "idea" for us? How infinite the fall of this word, since the time where Milton sang of the Creator contemplating his newly-created world, -
"how it showed . . .
Answering his great idea," -
to its present use, when this person "has an idea that the train has started," and the other "had no idea that the dinner would be so bad!"
- Trench.
5.A plan or purpose of action; intention; design.
I shortly afterwards set off for that capital, with an idea of undertaking while there the translation of the work.
- W. Irving.
6.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.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.
Thence to behold this new-created world,
The addition of his empire, how it showed
In prospect from his throne, how good, how fair,
Answering his great idea.
- Milton.
Abstract idea
etc. See under Abstract, Association, etc.

Related Words

abstract thought, act of thought, admonition, advice, advising, advocacy, affective meaning, aim, ambition, animus, apprehension, approach, approximation, arrangement, aspiration, assumption, attack, attitude, awareness, bare suggestion, bearing, belief, blueprint, blueprinting, brainwork, briefing, calculation, cast, caution, caveat, cerebration, charting, climate of opinion, clue, cogitation, coloring, common belief, community sentiment, conceit, conceptualization, conclusion, connotation, consensus gentium, consequence, consideration, construct, consultation, contrivance, conviction, council, counsel, creative thought, dash, denotation, desideration, desideratum, design, desire, determination, device, direction, disposition, doctrine, dream, drift, effect, end, enterprise, envisagement, essence, estimate, estimation, ethos, excogitation, excuse, exhortation, explanation, expostulation, extension, eye, fancy, fantasy, feeling, figuring, fixed purpose, force, foresight, forethought, function, game, general belief, gist, gleam, goal, grammatical meaning, graphing, ground plan, guess, guidance, guidelines, half an idea, hazy idea, headwork, heavy thinking, hint, hortation, hypothesis, ideation, imageless thought, impact, implication, import, impression, inkling, instruction, intellection, intellectual exercise, intellectualization, intendment, intension, intent, intention, intimation, judgment, layout, lexical meaning, lick, lights, lineup, literal meaning, long-range plan, look, mapping, master plan, meaning, mental act, mental image, mental labor, mental process, mentation, mere notion, method, methodology, mind, monition, motive, mystique, nisus, noesis, objective, observation, operations research, organization, outlook, overtone, parley, perception, personal judgment, pertinence, philosophy, picture, pith, plan, planning, planning function, point, point of view, popular belief, position, posture, practical consequence, prearrangement, presumption, pretense, pretext, prevailing belief, principle, procedure, program, program of action, project, proposal, prospectus, public belief, public opinion, purport, purpose, raison d'etre, range of meaning, ratiocination, rational ground, rationale, rationalization, reaction, real meaning, reason, reason for, reason why, reasoning, recommendation, reference, referent, relation, relevance, remonstrance, resolution, resolve, sake, schedule, schema, schematism, schematization, scheme, scheme of arrangement, scintilla, scope, semantic cluster, semantic field, sense, setup, shade, shadow, sight, significance, signification, significatum, signifie, sip, smack, smattering, smell, sneaking suspicion, soupcon, span of meaning, spark, spirit, sprinkling, stance, stated cause, straight thinking, strategic plan, strategy, striving, structural meaning, study, substance, suggestion, sum, sum and substance, sup, suspicion, symbolic meaning, system, systematization, tactical plan, tactics, taste, tenet, tenor, the big idea, the big picture, the idea, the picture, the whatfor, the wherefore, the why, theory, thinking, thinking aloud, thinking out, tincture, tinge, totality of associations, touch, trace, transferred meaning, unadorned meaning, underlying reason, understanding, undertone, vague idea, value, view, viewpoint, warning, way, way of thinking, will, working plan
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