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A destroyer of images used in religious worship, in particular, a supporter of the 8th- and 9th-century movement in the Byzantine Church which sought to abolish the veneration of icons and other religious images. The word is recorded from the mid 17th century, and comes via medieval Latin from ecclesiastical Greek eikonoklastēs, from eikōn ‘likeness’ + klan ‘to break’. The title of Milton's Eikonoklastes (1649) can be seen as an early use.

In extended use, the word denotes someone who attacks cherished beliefs or institutions.

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