noun, often attributive \ˈkəlt\

: a small religious group that is not part of a larger and more accepted religion and that has beliefs regarded by many people as extreme or dangerous

: a situation in which people admire and care about something or someone very much or too much

: a small group of very devoted supporters or fans

Full Definition of CULT

:  formal religious veneration :  worship
:  a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also :  its body of adherents
:  a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also :  its body of adherents
:  a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator <health cults>
a :  great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially :  such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad
b :  the object of such devotion
c :  a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion
cul·tic \ˈkəl-tik\ adjective
cult·ish \-tish\ adjective
cult·ish·ly \-lē\ adverb
cult·ish·ness \-nəs\ noun
cult·ism \ˈkəl-ˌti-zəm\ noun
cult·ist \ˈkəl-tist\ noun
cult·like \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of CULT

  1. She has developed a cult following.
  2. <long after it had gone off the air, the TV series continued to have a huge cult>

Origin of CULT

French & Latin; French culte, from Latin cultus care, adoration, from colere to cultivate — more at wheel
First Known Use: 1617

Other Religion (Eastern and Other) Terms

Zen, antinomian, avatar, gnosticism, illuminati, ineffable, karma, koan, mantra


abbreviation    (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of CULT



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Collective veneration or worship (e.g., the cult of the saints—meaning collective veneration of the saints—in Roman Catholicism). In the West, the term has come to be used for groups that are perceived to have deviated from normative religions in belief and practice. They typically have a charismatic leader and attract followers who are in some way disenfranchised from the mainstream of society. Cults as thus defined are often viewed as foreign or dangerous.


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