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 See the artisans at Kwok Kee Wood Ware Sculpture who often sit outside the shop, carving and painting figures traditionally used by fishing families for ancestor worship. Tiffany May, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Mar. 2024 Family members also make offerings and engage in other rituals related to ancestor worship. Mario Poceski, The Conversation, 5 Feb. 2024 Mayans, Incans and other Native Americans had great reverence for the dead and ancestor worship was culturally important. al, 2 Nov. 2022 Some remains were subsequently disinterred and their skulls reburied with other bodies, possibly as a form of ancestor worship. Jennifer Hattam, Discover Magazine, 27 July 2016 The three-day holiday is moored in sacred rituals centered on ancestor worship, such as the jesa ceremony, which is believed to strengthen the bond between the living and the deceased. Washington Post, 21 Jan. 2022 Their ancestors, who were once patronizingly spoken of as animists, took up residence in hollows in the cliffs to preserve their way of life, replete with traditions of ancestor worship and a complex cosmology. Howard W. French, The New York Review of Books, 14 May 2020 These range from visiting temples, attending pilgrimages and festivals, praying and offering incense, ancestor worship, and veneration of various celestial divinities. Mario Poceski, The Conversation, 6 Aug. 2021 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

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ancestor worship.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1829, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ancestor worship was in 1829

Dictionary Entries Near ancestor worship

Cite this Entry

“Ancestor worship.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

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