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Related to idolatrously: idolatress, Idolism


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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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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References in periodicals archive ?
As Joseph Raben says, it was hoped that Biblical concordances would reveal the "heart" of the truth underlying overlapping and partly contradictory versions of Christ's life as recorded in the Gospels ("Humanities" 343); possibly some of these hopes have spilled over idolatrously into secular uses of CARL.
With unrivalled skill, As nicest observation furnished hints For studious fancy, his quick hand bestowed On fluent operations a fixed shape: Metal or stone, idolatrously served.(42)
Guillaume undergoes changes in mood, appetite, and complexion; swears great oaths (the sea must dry up, the winds cease, and the sun darken before he could forget her); idolatrously worships her portrait; weeps copiously; attributes miracles to her (her love, communicated by letters, twice "cures" him); and constantly offers naively idealistic praise of Love, which has the power to bring together an ungainly clerk and the loveliest lady Nature ever created.
Similarly, when the image of Christ Pantocrator is used to sanction the rule of political, ecclesiastical, or patriarchal authorities, it is unfaithfully, and indeed, idolatrously represented.
Like any dimension of authentic sacramentality, the created integrity of the blessed dead could be idolatrously corrupted by their false identification with God.
In denouncing the theatrical quality of Spiera's torment, Calvin insinuates that evangelicals who conceal themselves are really insufficiently reformed Catholics, idolatrously addicted to fleshly spectacle.