a plan, thought or suggestion, especially about what to do in a particular situation
It would be a good idea to call before we leave.
I like the idea of living on a boat.
He already had an idea for his next novel.
Her family expected her to go to college, but she had other ideas .
The surprise party was Jane's idea.
It might be an idea (= it would be sensible) to try again later.
We've been toying with the idea of (= thinking about) getting a dog.
It seemed like a good idea at the time , and then it all went horribly wrong.
The latest big idea is to make women more interested in sport.
a picture or an impression in your mind of what sb/sth is like
The brochure should give you a good idea of the hotel.
I had some idea of what the job would be like.
She doesn't seem to have any idea of what I'm talking about.
I don't want anyone getting the wrong idea (= getting the wrong impression about sth) .
An evening at home watching TV is not my idea of a good time.
an opinion or a belief about sth
He has some very strange ideas about education.
a feeling that sth is possible
What gave you the idea that he'd be here?
I have a pretty good idea where I left it─I hope I'm right.
the aim or purpose of sth
You'll soon get the idea (= understand) .
What's the idea of the game?
to give sb hopes about sth that may not be possible or likely; to make sb act or think in an unreasonable way
Who's been putting ideas into his head?
used to emphasize that you do not know sth
‘What's she talking about?’ ‘I've no idea.’
He hasn't the faintest idea how to manage people.
to have found a very good or successful way of living, doing sth, etc.
He's certainly got the right idea─retiring at 55.
used to reply in a positive way to a suggestion that sb has made
Hey, that's an idea! And we could get a band, as well.
used to encourage people and to tell them that they are doing sth right
That's the idea! You're doing fine.
used to show that sth is hard for sb else to imagine
You've no idea how much traffic there was tonight.
to start behaving in a more acceptable way, so that work gets done better, etc.
These are all words for talking about what sb/sth intends to do or achieve.
what sth is supposed to achieve; what sb is trying to achieve
Our campaign's main purpose is to raise money.
what sb is trying to achieve; what sth is supposed to achieve
She went to London with the aim of finding a job.
Our main aim is to increase sales in Europe.
purpose or aim?
purpose指做某事的原因，aim指要达到的目的。aim可以指尝试达到目的，purpose含有要成就某事的强烈感觉。aim可指某人的目的（sb's aim），也可指某事的目的（the aim of sth），purpose更常指做某事的原因（the purpose of sth），也可指某人的目的（sb's purpose），但这样用较正式。
Your purpose for doing something is your reason for doing it; your aim is what you want to achieve. Aim can suggest that you are only trying to achieve sth; purpose gives a stronger sense of achievement being certain. Aim can be sb's aim or the aim of sth . Purpose is more usually the purpose of sth : you can talk about sb's purpose but that is more formal.
what you intend to do
I have no intention of going to the wedding.
She's full of good intentions but they rarely work out.
what you intend to do or achieve
There are no plans to build new offices.
intention or plan?
Your intentions are what you want to do, especially in the near future; your plans are what you have decided or arranged to do, often, but not always, in the longer term.
( rather informal ) the purpose or aim of sth
What's the point of all this violence?
The point of the lesson is to compare the two countries.
( rather informal ) the purpose of sth; sb's aim
The whole idea of going was so that we could meet her new boyfriend.
What's the idea behind this?
point or idea?
point比idea有更多的否定含义：what's the point ...?暗指毫无意义；what's the idea ...?用于真正询问目的。用point而非idea表示对所谈论的事情感到不快：
Point is a more negative word than idea. If you say What's the point…? you are suggesting that there is no point; if you say What's the idea…? you are genuinely asking a question. Point , but not idea , is used to talk about things you feel annoyed or unhappy about.