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totem

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noun to·tem \ˈtō-təm\

Simple Definition of totem

  • : something (such as an animal or plant) that is the symbol for a family, tribe, etc., especially among Native Americans

  • : a usually carved or painted figure that represents such a symbol

  • : a person or thing that represents an idea

Full Definition of totem

  1. 1a :  an object (as an animal or plant) serving as the emblem of a family or clan and often as a reminder of its ancestry; also :  a usually carved or painted representation of such an objectb :  a family or clan identified by a common totemic object

  2. 2 :  one that serves as an emblem or revered symbol

Examples of totem

  1. Private jets are a totem of success among extremely wealthy people.

  2. <the bald eagle, that universally recognized totem of our country>



Origin of totem

Ojibwa oto·te·man his totem


First Known Use: circa 1776

Other Heraldry Terms

Rhymes with totem



TOTEM Defined for Kids

totem

play
noun to·tem \ˈtō-təm\

Definition of totem

  1. 1 :  an object (as an animal or plant) serving as the emblem of a family or clan

  2. 2 :  a carving or picture representing such an object





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