V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. a person who ruins or destroys religious images or icons; 2. someone who challenges generally accepted beliefs and traditions--a heretic

Synonyms: heretic, skeptic, dissident, nonconformist

Antonyms: traditionalist, conformist

Tips: Iconoclast comes from the Greek combination of eikon, "image," and klastes, "breaker." To help remember the meaning of iconoclast, think of someone who 'breaks" images of religion or conventional society. For a memory trick, note how iconoclast sounds like "icon crash." Now, imagine someone throwing down an icon (religious or political representation) with a crash; that would be iconoclast, both literally and figuratively. The adjective form is iconoclastic.

Usage Examples:

His iconoclastic ideas put him under the silent but watchful eye of federal agents. (dissenting, nonconforming, heretical) adjective

The political revolutionaries were also iconoclasts who hoped to break the power of the prevailing religious institution and its images. (heretics, dissidents)

In the world of architecture, he is known as an iconoclast who goes against traditional thinking in architecture. (non-conformist)

Upon further review of Leonardo Da Vinci's work, you see he was somewhat of an iconoclast who questioned the church's teachings within his religious paintings. (heretic, dissident, nonconformist)

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