en·​the·​o·​gen | \ en-ˈthē-ə-jən How to pronounce entheogen (audio) \
plural entheogens

Definition of entheogen

: a psychoactive, hallucinogenic substance or preparation (such as psilocybin or ayahuasca) especially when derived from plants or fungi and used in religious, spiritual, or ritualistic contexts Entheogen is a neologism to designate psychoactive substances employed in culturally sanctioned visionary experiences in ritual or religious contexts.— Carl A. P. Ruck Scholars of religion often call them entheogens, from the term "god within."— Jeremiah Creedon

Other Words from entheogen

entheogenic \ en-​ˌthē-​ə-​'je-​nik How to pronounce entheogen (audio) \ adjective
A recent resolution by Santa Cruz City Council has made the municipality the third in the U.S. to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms. The unanimous ruling makes the personal possession and use of so-called entheogenic plants and fungi … a low priority for law enforcement. — David E. Carpenter an entheogenic plant/tea/substance

First Known Use of entheogen

1979, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for entheogen

Greek éntheos "possessed by a god, inspired" + -o- + -gen, after hallucinogen — more at enthusiasm

Note: The word was introduced in Carl A. P. Ruck et al., "Entheogens," Journal of Psychedelic Drugs, vol. 11 (1979), issue 1-2, pp. 145-46; the authors' intent was to avoid the perceived negative associations of hallucinogen and psychedelic.

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The first known use of entheogen was in 1979

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Cite this Entry

“Entheogen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entheogen. Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

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