cargo cult


: any of various Melanesian religious groups characterized by the belief that material wealth (such as money or manufactured goods) can be obtained through ritual worship

Examples of cargo cult in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The attempts to re-use the anti-Soviet playbook have the flavor of a cargo cult. Steve Larkin, The Week, 22 Mar. 2022 So far, Neom is less a city than an urbanist cargo cult. Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, 3 Mar. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cargo cult.' 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

1949, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cargo cult was in 1949

Dictionary Entries Near cargo cult

Cite this Entry

“Cargo cult.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

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