Definition of eidolon in English:


Pronunciation /īˈdōlən/ /aɪˈdoʊlən/

See synonyms for eidolon on

nouneidolons, eidola

  • 1An idealized person or thing.

    • ‘The subjectification of the beloved in Petrarchan lyric entails the internalization of a feminine image, an eidolon rather than an objectively real presence.’
  • 2A specter or phantom.

    ‘Plotinus, however, described the body itself as an eidolon - a simulacrum or phantom - of the soul: for him, the physical body was less real than the soul, and the soul in turn less real than divine Being.’
    • ‘This was a false assumption; Jone was well-versed in the holy scriptures, and it was whispered that he had the ability to conjure up eidolons and spirits.’
    • ‘The ancients called these human shadows, shades; modern children and nursemaids call them ghosts and spooks; and each such shade is but an eidolon.’
    spectre, phantom, wraith, spirit, soul, shadow, presence


Early 19th century from Greek eidōlon, from eidos ‘form’.