ancestor worship


Definition of ancestor worship

: the custom of venerating deceased ancestors who are considered still a part of the family and whose spirits are believed to have the power to intervene in the affairs of the living

Examples of ancestor worship in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The holiday has deep links to South Korea’s agricultural past and its custom of ancestor worship. Jun Michael Park, New York Times, 2 Oct. 2020 Perhaps this year a different story will take hold, replacing ancestor worship with a more clear-eyed view of the past. Peter C. Mancall, The Conversation, 4 Sep. 2020 The cosmology of spirits in Thailand — a Buddhist-majority nation with crosscurrents of Hinduism, Chinese ancestor worship, and animism — is vast. Adam Dean,, 13 June 2020 Due to its color, shape, and symbolic importance, many believe the dish symbolizes the earth, and it is often used as an offering on ancestor worship altars. NBC News, 25 Jan. 2020 Those Jesuit scientist-adventurers reported to Rome that China was a brilliant civilisation whose traditions of ancestor worship and Confucian ethics were not pagan religious rites, but customs compatible with Christian monotheism. The Economist, 18 Dec. 2019 The rupture was provoked by papal rulings that ancestor worship and Confucian rites were pagan idolatry. The Economist, 18 Dec. 2019 Mayans, Incans and other Native Americans had great reverence for the dead and ancestor worship was culturally important. al, 1 Nov. 2019 Mayans, Incans and other Native Americans had great reverence for the dead and ancestor worship was culturally important. al, 1 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ancestor worship.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ancestor worship

1829, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of ancestor worship was in 1829

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Dictionary Entries Near ancestor worship


ancestor cult


ancestor worship




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Cite this Entry

“Ancestor worship.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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