fetishism

noun

fe·​tish·​ism ˈfe-ti-ˌshi-zəm How to pronounce fetishism (audio)
 also  ˈfē-
variants or less commonly fetichism
1
: belief in magical fetishes
2
: extravagant irrational devotion
3
: the pathological displacement of erotic interest and satisfaction to a fetish
fetishist
ˈfe-ti-shist How to pronounce fetishism (audio)
 also  ˈfē-
noun
fetishistic adjective
fetishistically adverb

Examples of fetishism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Until 2013, sadomasochism, along with fetishism, was pathologized as a mental illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the DSM—a ruling with legal implications for jobs, parental rights. R. O. Kwon, TIME, 17 May 2024 Though the scholarship recipients are eager to begin paving a new path for themselves, the constant othering, feelings of isolation and fetishism begin coloring what should be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Aramide Tinubu, Variety, 8 Mar. 2024 The challenge in cultivating a sustainable approach to modern knowledge work is to locate the space between productivity fetishism and the knee-jerk rejection of productivity thinking as toxic or unnecessary. Cal Newport, The New Yorker, 26 Jan. 2024 The project satirizes the graphics fetishism of the video-game industry, where rendering water has long been a benchmark of technical sophistication. Julian Lucas, The New Yorker, 30 June 2023 Gleaming in a way that felt unhealthy — not with curiosity, but with fetishism. Vulture, 24 May 2023 The public first became aware of Hammer’s troubles in January 2021 when several women came forward with allegations of misconduct and messages containing BDSM fantasies and cannibalistic fetishism. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Feb. 2023 Irma Vep, Rene (Jean-Pierre Léaud) was a New Wave burnout attracted to remaking the crime thriller in part because of the fetishism of working with actress Maggie Cheung (glorious as a version of herself) in the main character’s trademark catsuit. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 May 2022 Other neurological conditions were ruled out, and he was diagnosed with fetishism on the basis of history and examination and successfully treated with behavioral therapy. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 4 Oct. 2014

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

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of fetishism was in 1801

Dictionary Entries Near fetishism

Cite this Entry

“Fetishism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fetishism. Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

fetishism

noun
fe·​tish·​ism
variants also fetichism
: the pathological displacement of erotic interest and satisfaction to a fetish
fetishistic adjective
fetishistically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on fetishism

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