Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One who attacks and seeks to overthrow traditional or popular ideas or institutions.
  • noun One who destroys sacred religious images.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A breaker or destroyer of images; a person conspicuously hostile to the use of images in Christian worship.
  • noun One of those Protestants of the Netherlands who, during the reign of Philip II., riotously destroyed the images in many of the Roman Catholic churches.
  • noun Hence Any destroyer, denouncer, or exposer of errors or impostures; one who systematically attacks cherished beliefs.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A breaker or destroyer of images or idols; a determined enemy of idol worship.
  • noun One who exposes or destroys impositions or shams; one who attacks cherished beliefs; a radical.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun One who destroys religious images or icons, especially an opponent of the Orthodox Church in the 8th and 9th centuries, or a Puritan during the European Reformation.
  • noun One who opposes orthodoxy and religion; one who adheres to the doctrine of iconoclasm.
  • noun One who attacks cherished beliefs.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a destroyer of images used in religious worship
  • noun someone who attacks cherished ideas or traditional institutions

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French iconoclaste, from Medieval Greek eikonoklastēs, smasher of religious images : eikono-, icono- + Greek -klastēs, breaker (from klān, klas-, to break).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Byzantine Greek εἰκονοκλάστης ("iconoclast", literally "image breaker").

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Examples

Comments

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  • A smashing word this is, just waiting to be smashed.

    January 19, 2010

  • Iconoclast and maverick can be positive or negative.

    October 13, 2014

  • somebody who attacks cherished beliefs or institutions

    Lady Gaga, in challenging what it means to be clothed, is an iconoclast for wearing a "meat dress" to a prominent awards show.

    October 11, 2016