The beau ideal of something is an excellent, beautiful, and perfect example of it.
(As you probably noticed, this term is French for "the ideal beautiful.")
bo eye DEE ull
Part of speech:
(Countable nouns, like “bottle,” “piece,” and “decision,” are words for things that can be broken into exact units. You talk about “a bottle,” “three pieces,” and “many decisions.”
Likewise, talk about one beau ideal or multiple beaux ideals.)
Some write this term as one word with a hyphen: "beau-ideal."
You can keep the French mark over the last "e" in this word if you like: "beau idéal."
The plural is "beaux ideals" or "beau ideals."
How to use it:
Use this term to describe whatever is beautiful or excellent in the highest way imaginable.
Say that one thing or person is the beau ideal of something, or the very beau ideal of something: "Her particular rise from rags to riches is the beau ideal of the American dream." "With his pipe, blazer with elbow patches, and gleeful enthusiasm for academics, Dr. Smith is the very beau ideal of the eccentric old professor."
You can leave out the "of" phrase and just call something or someone the beau-ideal: "This singer is the beau ideal whom all others admire."
Asked to name the beau ideal of a persuasive and inspiring public speaker, most students come up with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
To me, a Victorian-style house is the very beau ideal of warmth and charm.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "beau ideal" means when you can explain it without saying "embodiment of an idea" or "beautiful example."
Think of an artist, writer, athlete, leader, or any other accomplished person whose work you greatly admire, and fill in the blanks: "I consider (Person's work) the beau ideal of _____."
Example: "I consider Roald Dahl's stories the beau ideal of imaginative literature for children."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Our October game references some material that may be protected by copyright. I appreciate your understanding as I err on the side of caution by not publishing it here!
A Point Well Made:
Henry David Thoreau: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
1. The opposite of BEAU IDEAL is
A. WORST EXAMPLE
B. STARVING ARTIST
C. FAILED ATTEMPT
2. The beau ideal of a fashion model tends to change with the times; _____.
A. bell-bottom pants from the 70s enjoyed a spirited revival in the late 90s
B. brands used to favor full-figured women but now insist on twiggier builds
C. depending on how in-demand they are, some models now earn six figures or more
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.