Word Origin & History
1866, reintroduced by Eng. anthropologist Sir Edward Burnett Taylor (18321917), who defined it (1871) as the "theory of the universal animation of nature," from L. anima "life, breath, soul." Earlier sense was of "doctrine that animal life is produced by an immaterial soul" (1832), from Ger. Animismus,
coined c.1720 by physicist/chemist Georg Ernst Stahl (1660-1734) based on the concept of the anima mundi (q.v.). Animist is attested from 1819; animisic is first recorded 1871.