idea Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
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Meaning of “idea” in the English Dictionary

"idea" in British English

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ideanoun

uk   us   /aɪˈdɪə/

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 ofstarting (= ​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 tohirebikes. It's not a good idea todrive for ​hours without a ​rest.
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idea noun (KNOWLEDGE)

B2 [S or U] an ​understanding, ​thought, or ​picture in ​yourmind: 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."
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idea noun (BELIEF)

B1 [C] a ​belief or ​opinion: We have very different ideas aboutdiscipliningchildren. [+ 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)?
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idea noun (PURPOSE)

C1 [S] a ​purpose or ​reason for doing something: The idea of the ​game is to get ​rid of all ​yourcards as ​soon as you can. The whole idea (= only ​purpose) ofadvertising is to make ​peoplebuy things. The idea behind the ​lottery is to ​raisemoney for good ​causes.
(Definition of idea from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"idea" in American English

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ideanoun

 us   /ɑɪˈdi·ə/

idea noun (SUGGESTION)

[C] a ​suggestion, ​thought, or ​plan: "Let’s go ​swimming." "Good idea!" She’s ​full of ​bright ideas.

idea noun (KNOWLEDGE)

[C/U] knowledge or ​understanding about something: [C] Can you give me a ​rough idea of the ​cost (= ​tell me ​approximately how much it will ​cost)? [U] You have no idea what I just said, do you?

idea noun (BELIEF)

[C] a ​belief about something: They have some ​unusual ideas about ​parenting.

idea noun (PURPOSE)

[C usually sing] a ​purpose or ​reason for doing something: The idea behind the ​law is to ​raisemoney for ​education.
(Definition of idea from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"idea" in Business English

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ideanoun

uk   us   /aɪˈdɪə/
[C] a suggestion or ​plan for doing something: idea about sth The CTO should have ideas about where the ​companyneeds to be ​heading in ​terms of ​technology.come up with/have an idea He came up with the idea of ​promoting the two ​products together. new/fresh/​innovative ideas They had great ideas but ​lacked the ​businessknow-how to ​turn an idea into a ​successfulproduct.
[S] the ​purpose of, or reason for, doing something: The whole idea of ​budgeting is to ​controlcosts.
(Definition of idea from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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