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.
An idol is a man-made object that is venerated in some way. More specific terms include:

  • Cult image, a religion-neutral term for a man-made object that is venerated for the deity, spirit or daemon that it embodies or represents.
  • Idolatry, a term used in religion for the non-monotheism worship of cult images, termed idols.
  • Idolization, (verb: to idolize): as an excessive admiration, devotion, envy or attachment to a person or thing.
  • Icon, a representative image, sometimes considered sacred.
  • Murti, a point of focus for devotion or meditation in Hindu and Buddhist religion (not always man-made).

Idol may also mean:

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