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idol, an object, frequently an image, which is worshiped as a deity. Idols are usually found in human or animal form and may be treated as though alive; they are fed, bathed, anointed, crowned, and sometimes even provided with a consort. Christians and Jews extend the term to include any deity other than their own; theologically, however, idol worship is generally applied to the adoration of what is seen and tangible as opposed to the worship of an unseen spiritual being.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a material object to which religious worship is addressed. The cult of the idol, idolatry, originated far back in antiquity. To the worshippers the idol either represents (substitutes for), contains, or is the divinity itself. In modern religions idols continue to exist in the form of icons, crucifixes, and so on. In the figurative sense an idol is any object blindly and fanatically adored.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. a material object, esp a carved image, that is worshipped as a god
2. Christianity Judaism any being (other than the one God) to which divine honour is paid
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


Icon-Derived Object Language. An object-oriented preprocessor for Icon.

["Programming in Idol: An Object Primer", C.L. Jeffery, U Arizona CS TR #90-10].
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dgn), he says that it is unknown whether Dagon was so named because it was shaped like a fish or because the word is a general term for idol. Donash Ben Livrat, a contemporary and critic of Menachem, attacks the second suggestion.
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