i|de|a [ aı`diə ] noun ***
1. ) count a thought that you have about how to do something or how to deal with something:
What a brilliant idea!
idea for: an idea for a new TV show
have an idea: Then I had an idea: We could stay with Mark.
get an idea for something: Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
get the idea to do something: How did you get the idea to remove the window from the outside?
have/get the idea of doing something: Then she got the idea of sending the poems to a publisher.
a ) often plural an opinion or belief:
idea about/on something: I don't agree with his ideas about education.
Her ideas on the subject were not ones I shared.
have an idea: She has some pretty strange ideas about how to raise children.
b ) how you imagine something to be:
idea of: We didn't have a clear idea of what to expect from the training course.
Standing in the rain for two hours was not my idea of fun.
be my idea of heaven/paradise/bliss (=something that is extremely enjoyable): Lying by the pool with a good book is my idea of heaven.
2. ) singular or uncount information or knowledge that you have about something:
idea of: I had only a basic idea of how the machine worked.
have no idea (=not know at all): They had no idea what time they were supposed to arrive.
not have the slightest/faintest/foggiest/remotest idea (=not know at all): He didn't have the slightest idea of how she really felt.
3. ) count or uncount a purpose or intention:
idea behind/of: What's the idea behind these proposals?
the idea is to do something: The idea is to make more people rich.
have other ideas (=have a different intention): My parents wanted me to be a doctor, but I had other ideas.
with the idea of doing something: He came to the school with the idea of starting a band.
4. ) count a principle:
The policy is based on the idea that some industries need to be protected from market forces.
idea of: I'm a great believer in the idea of democracy.
get the idea INFORMAL
to understand something, often something that is not expressed directly:
Okay, I get the idea: You two want to be alone.
get the idea (that): I got the idea that he didn't want to answer the question.
1. ) to start to believe things that are not true:
He started to get ideas about his importance to the organization.
2. ) to plan something that someone will not like or allow:
Don't get any ideas about moving in with me.
get the wrong idea INFORMAL
to believe something that is not true:
I'll explain everything to George. I wouldn't want him to get the wrong idea.
have an idea
to be fairly certain about something, but not completely certain:
I had an idea how to proceed, but I wasn't confident that I could do it.
have the right idea INFORMAL
if you say that someone has the right idea, you think that what they are doing is right or good
it's a good idea to do something
used giving someone advice about what they should do:
It's a good idea to keep the engine running for a while.
put ideas into someone's head INFORMAL
to make someone think that they can or should do something, especially something that other people do not approve of:
Don't talk to Ralph about joining the army, I don't want you putting ideas into his head.
that's an idea SPOKEN
used for saying that you think what someone has suggested is good
that's the idea SPOKEN
used for telling someone that they are doing something correctly or well
where did you get that idea? SPOKEN
used for telling someone that what they think is definitely not true:
Where did he ever get the idea that I was in love with him?
you have no idea SPOKEN
used for emphasizing how bad or good something is:
You have no idea how pleased I was to see him.
It can be so difficult living alone, you have no idea.

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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