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English definition of “idea”

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.

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 much the cost is)? 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".

idea noun (BELIEF)

B1 [C] a belief or opinion: We have very different ideas about disciplining children. [+ that] 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)?

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 national lottery is to raise money for good causes.
(Definition of idea from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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