fe·​tish·​ism | \ ˈfe-ti-ˌshi-zəm How to pronounce fetishism (audio) also ˈfē- \
variants: or less commonly fetichism

Definition of fetishism

1 : belief in magical fetishes
2 : extravagant irrational devotion
3 : the pathological displacement of erotic interest and satisfaction to a fetish

Other Words from fetishism

fetishist \ ˈfe-​ti-​shist How to pronounce fetishism (audio) also  ˈfē-​ \ noun
fetishistic \ ˌfe-​ti-​ˈshi-​stik How to pronounce fetishism (audio) also  ˌfē-​ How to pronounce fetishism (audio) \ adjective
fetishistically \ ˌfe-​ti-​ˈshi-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce fetishism (audio) also  ˌfē-​ \ adverb

Examples of fetishism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Themes of masochism are everywhere in his books, as is a foot-fetishism grounded in self-abasement. Brad Leithauser, WSJ, 7 Jan. 2022 One undercurrent of the biography is an oblique fetishism that wafted into Ray’s romantic relationships and work. Jeremy Lybarger, The New Republic, 7 Oct. 2021 The dialogue lands somewhere between hardcore bullet fetishism and perpetual irony. Darren Franich, EW.com, 20 May 2021 Morrison’s radical artistry angers leftist reviewers because he clearly is not lost in their world of white liberal blues fetishism and political condescension. Armond White, National Review, 19 May 2021 Oh, and the play’s about foot fetishism and master-slave role play, too. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, 17 May 2021 What is sadder in this specific case is that art, for those who are receptive to it, can actually resist this kind of commodity fetishism (as the Marxists call it). Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2021 Torrey Peters covers everything from hormones and plastic surgery to feminism and motherhood, touching on TERFs, violence, fetishism, and the fluidity of gender and sexuality. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, 1 Mar. 2021 Their reasons for buying and selling and owning are rooted in a shrewd business sense and a deep love for art, but also seem to involve elements of fetishism and unresolved Freudian complexes. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, 21 Jan. 2021

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

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First Known Use of fetishism

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of fetishism was in 1801

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fetishism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fetishism. Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for fetishism


variants: also fetichism \ -​ish-​ˌiz-​əm How to pronounce fetishism (audio) \

Medical Definition of fetishism

: the pathological displacement of erotic interest and satisfaction to a fetish

Other Words from fetishism

fetishistic also fetichistic \ ˌfet-​ish-​ˈis-​tik also ˌfēt-​ How to pronounce fetishism (audio) \ adjective
fetishistically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce fetishism (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on fetishism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fetishism


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