idea Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Definition of “idea” - English Dictionary

"idea" in American English

See all translations

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 raise money for education.
(Definition of idea from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)







"idea" in British English

See all translations

ideanoun

uk   /aɪˈdɪə/  us   /aɪˈdiː.ə/
  • 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.

expend iconexpend iconMore 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."

expend iconexpend iconMore 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)?

expend iconexpend iconMore 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)

"idea" in Business English

See all translations

ideanoun

uk   us   /aɪˈdɪə/
[C] a suggestion or plan for doing something: idea about sth The CTO should have ideas about where the company needs 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 business know-how to turn an idea into a successful product.
[S] the purpose of, or reason for, doing something: The whole idea of budgeting is to control costs.
(Definition of idea from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of idea?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“idea” in Business English

A blazing row: words and phrases for arguing and arguments
A blazing row: words and phrases for arguing and arguments
by ,
May 04, 2016
by Kate Woodford We can’t always focus on the positive! This week, we’re looking at the language that is used to refer to arguing and arguments, and the differences in meaning between the various words and phrases. There are several words that suggest that people are arguing about something that is not important. (As you might

Read More 

Word of the Day

droid

a robot (= a machine controlled by computer) that is made to look like a human

Word of the Day

trigger warning noun
trigger warning noun
May 02, 2016
a warning that a subject may trigger unpleasant emotions or memories This is not, I should stress, an argument that trigger warnings should become commonplace on campus.

Read More