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fetish

[fet-ish, fee-tish] /ˈfɛt ɪʃ, ˈfi tɪʃ/
noun
1.
an object regarded with awe as being the embodiment or habitation of a potent spirit or as having magical potency.
2.
any object, idea, etc., eliciting unquestioning reverence, respect, or devotion:
to make a fetish of high grades.
3.
Psychology. any object or nongenital part of the body that causes a habitual erotic response or fixation.
Also, fetich.
Origin
1605-1615
1605-15; earlier fateish < Portuguese feitiço charm, sorcery (noun), artificial (adj.) < Latin factīcius factitious; replacing fatisso, fetisso < Portuguese, as above
Related forms
fetishlike, adjective
Synonyms
1. talisman, amulet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for fetishes

fetish

/ˈfɛtɪʃ; ˈfiːtɪʃ/
noun
1.
something, esp an inanimate object, that is believed in certain cultures to be the embodiment or habitation of a spirit or magical powers
2.
  1. a form of behaviour involving fetishism
  2. any object that is involved in fetishism
3.
any object, activity, etc, to which one is excessively or irrationally devoted to make a fetish of cleanliness
Derived Forms
fetish-like, fetich-like, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from French fétiche, from Portuguese feitiço (n) sorcery, from adj: artificial, from Latin factīcius made by art, factitious
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fetishes
fetish
1610s, fatisso, from Port. fetiço "charm, sorcery," originally feitiço "made artfully, artificial," from L. facticius "made by art," from facere "to make" (see factitious). L. facticius in Sp. has become hechizo "magic, witchcraft, sorcery." Probably introduced by Port. sailors and traders as a name for charms and talismans worshipped by the inhabitants of the Guinea coast of Africa. Popularized in anthropology by C. de Brosses' Le Culte des Dieux Fétiches (1760), which influenced the word's spelling in English (Fr. fétiche, also from the Port. word). Figurative sense of "something irrationally revered" is Amer.Eng. 1837. For sexual sense, see fetishism.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fetishes in Medicine

fetish fet·ish (fět'ĭsh, fē'tĭsh)
n.

  1. Something, such as an object or a nonsexual part of the body, that arouses sexual desire and may become necessary for sexual gratification.

  2. An abnormally obsessive preoccupation or attachment.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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fetishes in Culture

fetish definition


An object believed to carry a magical or spiritual force. Some so-called primitive tribes practice cult worship of fetishes. (See animism and totemism.)

Note: Figuratively, a “fetish” is any object that arouses excessive devotion: “Lucille made a fetish of her Porsche.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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