Word of the DayThursday, March 20, 2014
\TOH-tuhm\ , noun;
a natural object or an animate being, as an animal or bird, assumed as the emblem of a clan, family, or group.
an object or natural phenomenon with which a family or sib considers itself closely related.
a representation of such an object serving as the distinctive mark of the clan or group.
anything serving as a distinctive, often venerated, emblem or symbol.
Many's the savage I've run into who sees his totem in dreams or visions.
-- Philip José Farmer, The Dark Design, 1977
Grandma refused to interpret the dreams. Padlock asked her fiancé to have a go at it. He based his interpretation on totemic symbols. Padlock belonged to the elephant totem.
-- Moses Isegawa, Abyssinian Chronicles, 1998
This Americanism came to English in the mid-1700s from Ojibwa.
POWERED BY 4INFO
Get Word of the Day
Words of the Day