Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Literally, an iconoclast is a person who destroys icons, that is, sacred paintings or sculpture. An example of an iconoclast in this meaning of the word would be Byzantine emperor Leo III, who ordered the destruction of all icons of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and the Saints in his empire. For more discussion of historical iconoclasts, see iconoclasm.
The more common meaning in current usage is that an iconoclast is a person who carries out symbolic or quixotic acts of protest against authority figures. There is a connotation that the iconoclast opposes the imposition of authority itself rather than any particular policy or action.
Also can mean a person who breaks down popular culture or ideals.
See also: Iconoclasm.
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