1 concept, conception, construct, thought, notion, plan, design, scheme, suggestion, recommendation:
Is that your idea of a good singing voice? Peter has an excellent idea for increasing sales
2 notion, fancy, impression, picture, (mental) image, concept, conception, perception, understanding, awareness, apprehension, inkling, suspicion, hint, suggestion, approximation, clue, intimation, guess, estimate, estimation, impression:
I haven't the slightest idea what you are talking about. Can you give us any idea of the cause of the delay?
3 belief, opinion, sentiment, feeling, teaching(s), doctrine, tenet, principle, philosophy, view, viewpoint, outlook, notion, conviction, position, stance:
Western and Eastern ideas differ as to the role of women in society.
4 aim, goal, purpose, objective, object, end, point, reason, raison d'être:
What was the idea of telling the teacher? The idea behind the scheme was to boost sales. The idea of the game is to capture your opponent's king
5 hypothesis, theory, notion, dream, fantasy or phantasy:
His invention is based on the idea of an anti-gravity device.
bright, brilliant, clever, excellent, good, great, marvellous | valuable, worthwhile | exciting, inspirational, interesting, stimulating | constructive, positive | creative, imaginative, innovative, original | wacky | big
The latest big idea is to make women more interested in sport.
Group counselling is used as an alternative idea to punishment.
| fresh, new | absurd, bad, mistaken, ridiculous | crackpot, crazy, mad, outlandish, wild | half-baked | ambitious, big, grand
He joined the company as an office assistant with big ideas.
| grandiose | basic
The basic idea is that we all meet up in London.
VERB + IDEA
Do you have any ideas for a present for Lara?
| come up with, dream up, hit on/upon, produce, think up | draw, get
Her ideas are drawn mainly from Chinese art.
| contribute, input | moot, put forward | promote, push (forward), sell
They managed to push the idea of moving office through the committee.
Most employees welcome the idea of a ban on smoking.
| consider, entertain, flirt with, toy with
I'm toying with the idea of packing in my job.
| mull over, turn over
He kept turning the idea of resigning over in his mind.
| encourage, generate
Brainstorming is a good way of generating ideas.
a system of decision-making that stifles original ideas
| reject, scoff at, veto | test, try out | bounce around, bounce off sb, brainstorm, discuss, explore, talk about
I met up with a designer to bounce a few ideas around. It's useful to have someone to bounce ideas off.
| exchange, pool, share | give sb
What gave you the idea to go freelance?
| apply, implement, put into action/effect/practice
The idea had long been mooted but nothing had been done to put it into practice.
| transform, translate
How could we translate the idea into business reality?
She accused the company of stealing her idea.
She always tries to impose her own ideas on the rest of the team.
IDEA + VERB
come into sb's head/mind, come to sb, flash across/into sb's mind/brain, hit sb, occur to sb, pop into sb's head, strike sb
The idea for the invention came to him in the bath.
| emerge, evolve, form, grow
An idea began to form in his mind.
His ideas flowed faster than he could express them.
| come from sb/sth, date back from/to sth, originate, start, stem from sth
The idea for the Olympics originated with Pierre de Coubertin.
| blossom, work (out)
The idea has now blossomed into a successful mail-order business.
The idea eventually led to the invention of the telephone.
| come to nothing
I have an idea about how to tackle the problem.
| ~ for
We were asked to suggest ideas for improving efficiency.
| ~ of
She had the idea of advertising on the Internet.
be open to ideas
I don't know what to do, but I'm open to ideas.
| the germ/glimmering of an idea
The germ of his idea came from watching a bird make a nest.
| have other ideas
I wanted to take the week off, but my boss had other ideas.
| it might be an idea
It might be an idea to leave a note on the door for Mark.
clear, concrete, precise | abstract | theoretical | basic, rough, vague
He gave me a rough idea of what was wanted.
| key, main
The book introduces the key ideas of sociology.
| dominant | fixed, inflexible | preconceived | definite, firm, strong
She has very definite ideas about what kind of a job she wants.
| complex, difficult | simplistic | conventional | traditional | radical, revolutionary | contradictory | erroneous, false, wrong
I don't want anyone getting the wrong idea about me.
| funny, strange | utopian | romantic
People have a romantic idea of the police force.
| new-fangled | outdated | not the faintest/foggiest/remotest/slightest
(informal) I haven't got the faintest idea what she meant. | artistic, economic, intellectual, moral, musical, philosophical, political, scientific | fascist, feminist, nationalist, socialist
VERB + IDEA
They seem to have got the idea that we will be giving them a lift. You'll soon get the idea (= understand).
| espouse, have, hold
He holds very different ideas to mine about discipline.
| develop, form, shape
the experiences that shaped her ideas
| express | communicate, convey, get across, get over, present, put across
The book puts across complex ideas in a way anyone can understand.
| demonstrate, explain, expound, illustrate | clarify, formalize, formulate, organize, structure
Give careful thought to how to structure your ideas in the essay.
| change, reconsider, reshape, revise
They had to reconsider their ideas in the light of new evidence.
| accept | dismiss, reject | harbour
I hope he's not still harbouring ideas about asking me out.
| be obsessed with
He's obsessed with the idea of getting a motorbike.
I don't relish the idea of sharing an office with Tony.
IDEA + VERB
amuse sb, appeal to sb, please sb
The idea of going to his rescue amused her.
| catch on, take hold
Some students started wearing denim, and the idea caught on.
She's got some funny ideas about how to motivate staff.
| ~ behind
The idea behind the ceremony is to keep the gods happy to ensure a good crop.
| ~ of
Swimming in an icy river is not my idea of fun.
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