animist

Cultural Dictionary
animism [(an-uh-miz-uhm)]

The belief that natural objects such as rivers and rocks possess a soul or spirit. Anima is the Latin word for “soul” or “spirit.” (See voodoo.)

American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
animism [(an-uh-miz-uhm)]

The belief, common among so-called primitive people, that objects and natural phenomena, such as rivers, rocks, and wind, are alive and have feelings and intentions. Animistic beliefs form the basis of many cults. (See also fetish and totemism.)

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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