totemism

[toh-tuh-miz-uhm]
noun
1.
the practice of having totems.
2.
the system of tribal division according to totems.

Origin:
1785–95, Americanism; totem + -ism

totemistic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To totemism
Collins
World English Dictionary
totemism (ˈtəʊtəˌmɪzəm)
 
n
1.  the belief in kinship of groups or individuals having a common totem
2.  the rituals, taboos, and other practices associated with such a belief
 
totemist
 
n
 
totemistic
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
totemism [(toh-tuh-miz-uhm)]

The belief that people are descended from animals, plants, and other natural objects. Symbols of these natural ancestors, known as totems, are often associated with clans (groups of families tracing common descent). By representing desirable individual qualities (such as the swiftness of a deer) and helping to explain the mythical origin of the clan, totems reinforce clan identity and solidarity.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences for totemism
This is seen as a somewhat peculiar application of animal totemism.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;