Meaning of “ideal” in the English Dictionary

"ideal" in British English

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uk /aɪˈdɪəl/ us /aɪˈdiː.əl/

B2 perfect, or the best possible:

the ideal employer
She's the ideal person (= exactly the right type of person) for the job.
The television also comes in a compact 36 cm screen size, ideal for bedroom or kitchen use.
It's the ideal opportunity to meet people.
In an ideal world no one would go hungry.

More examples

  • He's the ideal sort of teacher - direct, friendly and informal.
  • Stone farm buildings are ideal nesting sites for barn owls.
  • A dry champagne makes the ideal accompaniment to this dish.
  • Red peppers are ideal for roasting in the oven.
  • Fresh or dried fruit makes an ideal snack.


uk /aɪˈdɪəl/ us /aɪˈdiː.əl/

(Definition of “ideal” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"ideal" in American English

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idealadjective [ not gradable ]

us /ɑɪˈdil, --ˈdi·əl/

ideal adjective [ not gradable ] (PERFECT)

perfect, or the best possible:

In an ideal world, no one would go hungry.
adverb [ not gradable ] us /ɑɪˈdil·i, -ˈdi·ə·li/

This job is ideally suited to her skills.


us /ɑɪˈdil/

ideal noun (PRINCIPLE)

[ C ] a principle that sets a high standard for behavior:

I think most people share the same ideals and basic beliefs.

ideal noun (PERFECT)

[ U ] a person, thing, or situation that is considered to be perfect:

She’s my ideal of beauty.

(Definition of “ideal” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)