iconoclast(redirected from Iconoclasts)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical.
1. One who attacks and seeks to overthrow traditional or popular ideas or institutions.
2. One who destroys sacred religious images.
[French iconoclaste, from Medieval Greek eikonoklastēs, smasher of religious images : eikono-, icono- + Greek -klastēs, breaker (from klān, klas-, to break).]
Word History: Among the Ten Commandments found in the Bible is the following: "Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth." In the 8th and 9th centuries, these words inspired some Christians of the Byzantine Empire to destroy religious images such as paintings and sculptures of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and the saints. The Medieval Greek word for a person who destroyed such images was eikonoklastēs, formed from the elements eikōn, "image, likeness," and -klastēs, "breaker," and the Medieval Greek word is the source of the English word iconoclast. In addition to simply destroying many paintings and sculptures, the Medieval Greek iconoclasts also sought to have them barred from display and veneration. In English, the word iconoclast was originally used in reference to these Byzantine iconoclasts. During the Protestant Reformation, however, images in churches were again felt to be idolatrous and were once more banned and destroyed, and the word iconoclast came to be used of the Protestant opponents of graven images, too. In the 19th century, iconoclast took on the secular sense that it has today.
1. a person who attacks established or traditional concepts, principles, laws, etc
a. a destroyer of religious images or sacred objects
b. an adherent of the heretical movement within the Greek Orthodox Church from 725 to 842 ad, which aimed at the destruction of icons and religious images
[C16: from Late Latin iconoclastes, from Late Greek eikonoklastes, from eikōn icon + klastēs breaker]
1. a person who attacks cherished beliefs or traditional institutions as being based on error or superstition.
2. a breaker or destroyer of images, esp. those set up for religious veneration.
[1590–1600; < Medieval Latin īconoclastēs < Medieval Greek eikonoklástēs= Greek eikono- icono- + -klastēs breaker, agentive derivative of klân to break]
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||iconoclast - a destroyer of images used in religious worship|
|2.||iconoclast - someone who attacks cherished ideas or traditional institutions|