• WordNet 3.6
    • adj ideal constituting or existing only in the form of an idea or mental image or conception "a poem or essay may be typical of its period in idea or ideal content"
    • adj ideal conforming to an ultimate standard of perfection or excellence; embodying an ideal
    • adj ideal of or relating to the philosophical doctrine of the reality of ideas
    • n ideal the idea of something that is perfect; something that one hopes to attain
    • n ideal model of excellence or perfection of a kind; one having no equal
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

An exasperated painter gives up on his painting. He sits under two statues of women. One is titled 'the real' and the other is titled 'the ideal.' He has written 'Namby Pamby' on his painting An exasperated painter gives up on his painting. He sits under two statues of women. One is titled 'the real' and the...

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The first company to mass produce teddy bears was the Ideal Toy Company
    • n Ideal A mental conception regarded as a standard of perfection; a model of excellence, beauty, etc. "The ideal is to be attained by selecting and assembling in one whole the beauties and perfections which are usually seen in different individuals, excluding everything defective or unseemly, so as to form a type or model of the species. Thus, the Apollo Belvedere is the ideal of the beauty and proportion of the human frame."
    • Ideal Existing in fancy or imagination only; visionary; unreal. "Planning ideal common wealth."
    • Ideal Existing in idea or thought; conceptional; intellectual; mental; as, ideal knowledge.
    • Ideal (Math) Imaginary.
    • Ideal Reaching an imaginary standard of excellence; fit for a model; faultless; as, ideal beauty. "There will always be a wide interval between practical and ideal excellence."
    • Ideal Teaching the doctrine of idealism; as, the ideal theory or philosophy.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • ideal Of or pertaining to or consisting in ideas.
    • ideal Existing only in idea; confined to thought or imagination. Not real or practical; imaginary; visionary; incapable of being realized or carried out in fact: as, ideal wealth or happiness; an ideal scheme of benevolence.
    • ideal Conforming completely to a standard of perfection; perfect.
    • ideal In philosophy, regarding ideas as the only real entities; pertaining to or of the nature of idealism.
    • ideal Arising from ideas or conceptions; based upon an ideal or ideals; manifesting or embodying imagination; imaginative: as, the ideal school in art or literature; an ideal statue or portrait.
    • ideal Synonyms Imaginary, fanciful, shadowy, unreal, chimerical.
    • n ideal That which exists only in idea; a conception that exceeds reality.
    • n ideal An imaginary object or individual in which an idea is conceived to be completely realized; hence, a standard or model of perfection: as, the ideal of beauty, virtue, etc.; Bayard, the ideal of chivalry.
    • n ideal A standard of desire; an ultimate object or aim; a mental conception of what is most desirable: as, one's ideal of enjoyment; our ideals are seldom attained.
    • n ideal Synonyms Pattern, Model, etc. See example.
    • ideal In projective geometry, infinitely distant.
    • n ideal In mathematics, an ideal number.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Ideal existing in idea: mental: existing in imagination only: the highest and best conceivable, the perfect, as opposed to the real, the imperfect
    • ***


  • Gilbert K. Chesterton
    “There is nothing the matter with Americans except their ideals. The real American is all right; it is the ideal American who is all wrong.”
  • James Russell Lowell
    “Sorrow is the great idealizer.”
  • Amos Bronson Alcott
    “Our ideals are our better selves.”
  • Josiah Gilbert Holland
    “Ideals are the worlds masters.”
  • Joseph Joubert
    Joseph Joubert
    “Our ideals, like pictures, are made from lights and shadows.”
  • Ellen Key
    Ellen Key
    “When one paints an ideal, one does not need to limit one's imagination.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. idealis,: cf. F. idéal,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L.,—Gr. ideaidein, to see.


In literature:

These villages fulfil the Socialistic ideal.
"British Socialism" by J. Ellis Barker
War, Instincts, and Ideals 1.
"Introduction to the Science of Sociology" by Robert E. Park
An ideal is a pattern or plan held up before the man's eye for imitation, realization and guidance.
"A Man's Value to Society" by Newell Dwight Hillis
Be it what it may, it is ideal to me, so long as I cannot try the accuracy of my senses.
"Nature" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Of course one must have ideals, else life would be bare materialism.
"Select Conversations with an Uncle" by H. G. Wells
Monogamy is the ideal relationship between men and women.
"Sex=The Unknown Quantity" by Ali Nomad
Ideal form in vegetables.
"Modern Painters Volume II (of V)" by John Ruskin
Our literature, then, reveals few traces of idealization of a class, and but little idealization of trades or callings.
"The American Mind" by Bliss Perry
Rectitude, courage and unflinching truth were Holcroft's ideal.
"Shelley, Godwin and Their Circle" by H. N. Brailsford
The social ideal is becoming a very near ideal to women.
"The Truth About Woman" by C. Gasquoine Hartley
Aristotle insisted on relating the ideal and the real.
"Monophysitism Past and Present" by A. A. Luce
The great middle-class ideal, which is mainly the ideal of our own people, Whitman flouts and affronts.
"Whitman" by John Burroughs
The preacher is dealing with theories and ideals not always rooted in local experiences.
"The Evolution of the Country Community" by Warren H. Wilson
Then there were the former days of our own ministries and the ideals which in those days we cherished and have never forgotten.
"The Message and the Man:" by J. Dodd Jackson
Platonic philosophy develops the ideal.
"History of Human Society" by Frank W. Blackmar
He must know himself ideally, and then realize his ideal self, in order to become actually free.
"Pedagogics as a System" by Karl Rosenkranz
England's ideal is not the ideal of Spain, nor are her methods the methods of Spain.
"The Origins and Destiny of Imperial Britain" by J. A. Cramb
That political philosophy is to-day the living and inspiring ideal which informs German policy.
"German Problems and Personalities" by Charles Sarolea
When I see you, it seems as if his ideal had become realized.
"On the Heights" by Berthold Auerbach
The individual singer must have ideals, and then leave nothing undone to attain those ideals.
"Great Singers on the Art of Singing" by James Francis Cooke

In poetry:

If the same toil which indurates the hand
Must steel the heart,
Till, in the wonders of the ideal land,
It have no part;
"Youth And Manhood" by Henry Timrod
Then my heart took a passionate longing
To re-live that happy time,
When around my life the ideal
Was thrown with melodious chime:
"Schiller And Sunshine" by Alexander Anderson
Rescue me thou, the only real!
And scare away this mad ideal
That came, nor motions to depart!
Thanks! Now, stay ever as thou art!
"In A Gondola" by Robert Browning
"Theirs is the Land beyond the Door,
And theirs the old ideal shore.
They steer our ship: behold our crew
Ideal, and our Captain too.
"The Ballad of Iskander" by James Elroy Flecker
Where every brow was free from care,
And Youth's sublime ideals shone
Like planets in an Alpine air,
And death's sad mystery was known.
"Dreamland" by John Lawson Stoddard
Then come and make his heart thy home,
For thee it opes, for thee it glows;—
Type of ideal beauty, come!
Wonder of Nature! queenly Rose!
"The Progress Of The Rose" by Denis Florence MacCarthy

In news:

This constant exposure to moisture on the leaves of plants created an ideal environment for plant diseases .
Virtual Machines Find an Ideal Physical Home.
It's a staple of movies and literature, the platonic ideal of a disgruntled fan's heckling, but though I've been attending sporting events in New York most of my life, I don't think I'd ever actually heard anyone scream "Yer a bum".
Years later, she recalled the spell that the estate had cast on her: "a white Georgian house of about 1780 or '90, with woods sweeping down to the Dart the ideal house, a dream house".
With dueling trails and ideal distances, it's got recipe runners will love.
Bill Tylor wasn't an ideal patient, he'll admit it.
Community CU Award Winners Embody Ideals of the Movement.
2012 Olympians who embody the human ideal.
Launched in 1943 by John Brucato, the market's original location was ideal -- at Duboce and Market streets in the heart of the city.
They come together, they live or die, through a series of small visual and emotional moments that ideally add up to.
An ideal salad to serve alongside Asian-style duck or grilled meat.
The home has custom designed bedrooms, a backyard loggia and open living space ideal for art and entertaining.
MILK is indisputedly the ideal food for infants and an excellent food for young children.
Learn about the 5 key strength properties that make epoxies ideal for high-performance bonding.
The goal is ideal, but the government's plan to stimulate the economy has a flaw.

In science:

Similarly, if we run the walk on an ideal C ⊆ S , then the transition matrix is the matrix of left multiplication by w on RC , which is an ideal in the ring RS .
Semigroups, rings, and Markov chains
Proof. “⇒”: If I is a D-stable ideal of A, then clearly I [D ] is a Lie ideal of A[D ].
Simple algebras of Weyl type
Obviously, A∂i (u) is an ideal of (A, ·), let M ⊂ A ∩ L be the maximal ideal of (A, ·) containing A∂i (u).
Simple algebras of Weyl type
Let M ⊂ {y ∈ A | y∂ (α) ∈ L} be the maximal ideal of (A, ·) containing the ideal A∂j (u)∂ (α) of (A, ·), then as in the proof of Claim 3, M = A, i.e., A∂ (α) ⊂ L.
Simple algebras of Weyl type
If I is a D-stable ideal of A, then clearly I [D ] is a ideal of A[D ].
Simple algebras of Weyl type
Moreover, the ideals which occur in the statment of Theorem 15 are all ideals of the original ring R.
On Resolving Singularities
For each choice of ideal I the ideal J (I J (I )) makes sense, and it is generated by certain explicit expressions involving the fi and the xj and their first and second derivatives.
On Resolving Singularities
Although the theorem is stated for ideals, it follows for fractional ideals.
On Resolving Singularities
We defined for each ideal J of R a new ideal J (J ) of R with the property that J (J ) is a fractional ideal divisor of a power of J if and only if L lifts to a nonsingular foliation on eV = B lJ (V ).
On Resolving Singularities
First, since the Vn ’s are left ideals of B satisfying Vm ⊂ Vn whenever m ≥ n they form a pro jective system of left ideals and ˜B is a left B -module.
Number Operator Algebras
An ideal I in (g, F ) is called regular if it is of the form I = {an | a ∈ J, n ∈ Z+ }, where J is an ideal of the Lie conformal superalgebra F ; I is clearly T -stable.
Classification of finite simple Lie conformal superalgebras
Indeed, an ideal I of g generates the ideal C[∂ ] ⊗ I of C ur g.
Classification of finite simple Lie conformal superalgebras
Then any noncentral T -invariant ideal J of A(R) contains a non-zero regular ideal.
Classification of finite simple Lie conformal superalgebras
It follows that A(R)/Z contains no non-trivial T -invariant ideals and therefore A(R)/Z is a minimal ideal in A(R)e /Z .
Classification of finite simple Lie conformal superalgebras
Now the problem of describing the abelian ideals in b decomposes into two problems according to the disjoint union decomposition (cid:8)abelian ideals a E b(cid:9) = aa ′ (cid:8)abelian ideals a E b with a 6⊥θ = a′(cid:9).
Abelian ideals in a Borel subalgebra of a complex simple Lie algebra