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ideal (adj.)

early 15c., "pertaining to an archetype or model," from Late Latin idealis "existing in idea," from Latin idea in the Platonic sense (see idea). Senses "conceived as perfect; existing only in idea," are from 1610s. Ideagenous "generating ideas" (1839) is a word from early psychology, apparently coined by Dr. Thomas Laycock, house surgeon to York County Hospital ["Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal," vol. lii].

ideal (n.)

"(hypothetical) perfect person, thing, or state," 1796, in a translation of Kant, from ideal (adj.). Hence "standard or model of perfection" (1849).

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Definitions of ideal from WordNet
1
ideal (adj.)
conforming to an ultimate standard of perfection or excellence; embodying an ideal;
ideal (adj.)
constituting or existing only in the form of an idea or mental image or conception;
a poem or essay may be typical of its period in idea or ideal content
ideal (adj.)
of or relating to the philosophical doctrine of the reality of ideas;
Synonyms: idealistic
2
ideal (n.)
the idea of something that is perfect; something that one hopes to attain;
ideal (n.)
model of excellence or perfection of a kind; one having no equal;
From wordnet.princeton.edu