Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “idea”

See all translations

idea

noun uk   /aɪˈdɪə/ us  

idea noun (SUGGESTION)

A2 [C] a suggestion or plan for doing something: I've had an idea - why don't we go to the coast? "Let's go swimming." "That's a good idea!" If you have any ideas for what I could buy Jack, let me know. That's when I first had the idea of starting (= planned to start) my own business. I like the idea of living in the countryside but I'm not sure I'd like the reality. She's full of bright (= good) ideas. [+ to infinitive] It was Kate's idea to hire bikes. It's not a good idea to drive for hours without a rest.
More examples

idea noun (KNOWLEDGE)

B2 [S or U] an understanding, thought, or picture in your mind: Do you have any idea of what he looks like? Can you give me an idea of the cost (= can you tell me approximately how it costs)? I don't like the idea of living so far away from my family. [+ question word] I haven't the slightest/faintest idea where they've gone. I've got a pretty good idea why they left early.have no idea B1 informal to not know something: "Where's Serge?" "I've no idea."
More examples

idea noun (BELIEF)

B1 [C] a belief or opinion: We have very different ideas about disciplining children. [+ that] Dr Leach puts forward the idea that it is impossible to spoil a child. I'm not married - where did you get that idea (= what made you believe that)?
More examples

idea noun (PURPOSE)

C1 [S] a purpose or reason for doing something: The idea of the game is to get rid of all your cards as soon as you can. The whole idea (= only purpose) of advertising is to make people buy things. The idea behind the lottery is to raise money for good causes.
(Definition of idea from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of idea?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “idea” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

hyphen

the symbol -, used to join two words together, or to show that a word has been divided into two parts at the end of one line and the beginning of the next

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More