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I"dol, n. Etym: [OE. idole, F. idole, L. idolum, fr. Gr. Wit, and cf. Eidolon.]

1. An image or representation of anything. [Obs.]
Do her adore with sacred reverence, As th' idol of her maker's great magnificence. Spenser.

2. An image of a divinity; a representation or symbol of a deity or any other being or thing, made or used as an object of worship; a similitude of a false god.
That they should not worship devils, and idols of gold. Revelation 9:20.

3. That on which the affections are strongly (often excessively) set; an object of passionate devotion; a person or thing greatly loved or adored.
The soldier's god and people's idol. Denham.

4. A false notion or conception; a fallacy. Bacon.
The idols of preconceived opinion. Coleridge.

---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Idol -
(1.) Heb. aven , "nothingness;" "vanity" (Isaiah 66:3; Isaiah 41:29; Deuteronomy 32:21; 1 Kings 16:13; Psalms 31:6; Jeremiah 8:19, etc.).
(2.) 'Elil , "a thing of naught" (Psalms 97:7; Isaiah 19:3); a word of contempt, used of the gods of Noph (Ezekiel 30:13).
(3.) 'Emah , "terror," in allusion to the hideous form of idols (Jeremiah 50:38).
(4.) Miphletzeth , "a fright;" "horror" (1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chronicles 15:16).
(5.) Bosheth , "shame;" "shameful thing" (Jeremiah 11:13; Hosea 9:10); as characterizing the obscenity of the worship of Baal.
(6.) Gillulim , also a word of contempt, "dung;" "refuse" (Ezekiel 16:36; Ezekiel 20:8; Deuteronomy 29:17, marg.).
(7.) Shikkuts , "filth;" "impurity" (Ezekiel 37:23; Nahum 3:6).
(8.) Semel , "likeness;" "a carved image" (Deuteronomy 4:16).
(9.) Tselem , "a shadow" (Daniel 3:1; 1 Samuel 6:5), as distinguished from the "likeness," or the exact counterpart.
(10.) Temunah , "similitude" (Deuteronomy 4:12). Here Moses forbids the several forms of Gentile idolatry.
(11.) 'Atsab , "a figure;" from the root "to fashion," "to labor;" denoting that idols are the result of man's labor (Isaiah 48:5; Psalms 139:24, "wicked way;" literally, as some translate, "way of an idol").
(12.) Tsir , "a form;" "shape" (Isaiah 45:16).
(13.) Matztzebah , a "statue" set up (Jeremiah 43:13); a memorial stone like that erected by Jacob (Genesis 28:18; Genesis 31:45; Genesis 35:14, Genesis 35:20), by Joshua (Joshua 4:9), and by Samuel (1 Samuel 7:12). It is the name given to the statues of Baal (2 Kings 3:2; 2 Kings 10:27).
(14.) Hammanim , "sun-images." Hamman is a synonym of Baal, the sun-god of the Phoenicians (2 Chronicles 34:4, 2 Chronicles 34:7; 2 Chronicles 14:3, 2 Chronicles 14:5; Isaiah 17:8).
(15.) Maskith , "device" (Leviticus 26:1; Numbers 33:52). In Leviticus 26:1, the words "image of stone" (A.V.) denote "a stone or cippus with the image of an idol, as Baal, Astarte, etc." In Ezekiel 8:12, "chambers of imagery" (maskith), are "chambers of which the walls are painted with the figures of idols;" compare Ezekiel 8:10, Ezekiel 8:11.
(16.) Pesel , "a graven" or "carved image" (Isaiah 44:10). It denotes also a figure cast in metal (Deuteronomy 7:25; Deuteronomy 27:15; Isaiah 40:19; Isaiah 44:10).
(17.) Massekah , "a molten image" (Deuteronomy 9:12; Judges 17:3, Judges 17:4).
(18.) Teraphim , pl., "images," family gods (penates) worshipped by Abram's kindred (Joshua 24:14). Put by Michal in David's bed (Judges 17:5; Judges 18:14, Judges 18:17, Judges 18:18, Judges 18:20; 1 Samuel 19:13). "Nothing can be more instructive and significant than this multiplicity and variety of words designating the instruments and inventions of idolatry."


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