animism

play
noun an·i·mism \ˈa-nə-ˌmi-zəm\

Definition of animism

  1. 1 :  a doctrine that the vital principle of organic development is immaterial spirit

  2. 2 :  attribution of conscious life to objects in and phenomena of nature or to inanimate objects

  3. 3 :  belief in the existence of spirits separable from bodies

animist

play \-mist\ noun

animistic

play \ˌa-nə-ˈmis-tik\ adjective

Recent Examples of animism from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of animism

German Animismus, from Latin anima soul


First Known Use: 1832


ANIMISM Defined for English Language Learners

animism

play
noun

Definition of animism for English Language Learners

  • : the belief that all plants, animals, and objects have spirits


Medical Dictionary

animism

play
noun an·i·mism \ˈan-ə-ˌmiz-əm\

Medical Definition of animism

  1. 1:  a doctrine that the vital principle of organic development is immaterial spirit

  2. 2:  attribution of conscious life to nature or natural objects

animist

\-məst\play noun

animistic

\ˌan-ə-ˈmis-tik\play adjective

Learn More about animism


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up animism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a lively discussion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!