Synonyms for ideal
prototypical, model, archetypical; see typical.
supreme, consummate, fitting, exemplary; see absolute 1, excellent, perfect 2.
Characterizing the unattainable
utopian, imaginary, visionary, fanciful, unreal, abstract, quixotic, Panglossian, high-flown, impractical, impracticable, chimerical, extravagant, theoretical, in the clouds, mercurial, out of reach, dreamlike, fictitious, unearthly; see also impractical, romantic 1, visionary 1.
Antonyms practical*, practicable, down-to-earth.
See ideal in Webster's New World Roget's A-Z Thesaurus II
One that is worthy of imitation or duplication: beau ideal, example, exemplar, mirror, model, paradigm, pattern, standard. See good
A fervent hope, wish, or goal: aspiration, dream. See hope
Conforming to an ultimate form of perfection or excellence: exemplary, model, perfect, supreme. See good
Existing only in concept and not in reality: abstract, hypothetic, hypothetical, theoretic, theoretical, transcendent, transcendental. See real
See ideal in American Heritage Dictionary 4 Synonyms
ideal example exemplar model standard pattern
These nouns refer to someone or something worthy of imitation or duplication. An ideal is a sometimes unattainable standard of perfection: “Religion is the vision of . . . something which is the ultimate ideal, and the hopeless quest” (Alfred North Whitehead).
An example can refer to something that is worthy of imitation but can also indicate something that serves as a deterrent or warning: “Our Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example” (Louis D. Brandeis).
An exemplar, like a model, serves as an ideal example by reason of being either very worthy or truly representative of a type, admirable or otherwise: “He is indeed the perfect exemplar of all nobleness” (Jane Porter). “Our fellow countryman is a model of a man” (Charles Dickens).
A standard is an established criterion or recognized level of excellence: “It wouldn't be quite fair to test him by our standards” (William Dean Howells).
A pattern serves as a model, plan, or guide in the creation of something: “I will be the pattern of all patience” (Shakespeare).
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