noun \ˈpä-lē-(ˌ)thē-ˌi-zəm\

: the belief that there is more than one god

Full Definition of POLYTHEISM

:  belief in or worship of more than one god
poly·the·ist \-ˌthē-ist\ adjective or noun
poly·the·is·tic \ˌpä-lē-thē-ˈis-tik\ also poly·the·is·ti·cal \-ˈis-ti-kəl\ adjective


French polytheisme, from Late Greek polytheos polytheistic, from Greek, of many gods, from poly- + theos god
First Known Use: 1613

Other Religion (Eastern and Other) Terms

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

Rhymes with POLYTHEISM

absenteeism, absolutism, abstractionism, adventurism, aestheticism, Afrocentrism, agnosticism, alcoholism, amateurism, anabaptism, anachronism, Anglicanism, animalism, antagonism, Arianism, astigmatism, athleticism, automatism, behaviorism, Big Brotherism, bilingualism, Bonapartism, cannibalism, capitalism, Cartesianism, Catholicism, charlatanism, collectivism, commercialism, communalism, Confucianism, conservatism, constructivism, consumerism, corporatism, creationism, determinism, do-nothingism, eclecticism, ecotourism, ecumenism, egocentrism, empiricism, epicurism, eroticism, essentialism, ethnocentrism, evangelism, exoticism, expansionism, expressionism, Fabianism, factionalism, fanaticism, favoritism, federalism, Fenianism, feuilletonism, Fourierism, fraternalism, Freudianism, funambulism, functionalism, hermeticism, Hispanicism, historicism, hooliganism, illiberalism, illusionism, impressionism, infantilism, inflationism, initialism, insularism, irredentism, Jacobinism, Keynesianism, know-nothingism, lesbianism, liberalism, libertinism, literalism, Lutheranism, Lysenkoism, magic realism, malapropism, mercantilism, messianism, metabolism, metamorphism, militarism, minimalism, monasticism, monotheism, mutualism, naturalism, Naziritism, negativism, neologism, neo-Nazism, neorealism, nominalism, nonconformism, objectivism, obscurantism, obstructionism, opportunism, pacificism, parallelism, pastoralism, paternalism, patriotism, Peeping Tomism, perfectionism, photo-realism, plebeianism, positivism, postmodernism, primitivism, progressivism, protectionism, Protestantism, provincialism, puritanism, radicalism, rationalism, recidivism, reductionism, regionalism, relativism, revisionism, revivalism, ritualism, romanticism, salvationism, sansculottism, scholasticism, sectionalism, secularism, separatism, serialism, Slavophilism, somnambulism, Stakhanovism, structuralism, subjectivism, teetotalism, theocentrism, triumphalism, Uncle Tomism, ventriloquism, vigilantism, workaholism


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Belief in many gods. Though Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are monotheistic (see monotheism), most other religions throughout history have been polytheistic. The numerous gods may be dominated by a supreme god or by a small group of powerful gods. The gods originated as abstractions of the forces of nature such as the sky or the sea and of human and social functions such as love, war, marriage, or the arts. In many religions the sky god is powerful and all-knowing (e.g., Dievs), and the earth goddess is maternal and associated with fertility. Gods of death and the underworld (e.g., Osiris and Hel) are also important. In addition to many gods, polytheistic religions generally also include malevolent or benevolent spiritual forces or powers. See also god and goddess.


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