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

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Other Words from fetishism

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

Examples of fetishism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web If this had saved 10 percent of these jobs, then Democrats and their partisan fetishism herded 330,000 Americans into unemployment. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "Democrats Block Job-Saving Program," 19 Apr. 2020 Gun fetishism is not part of the particular pain of British life, but last week Britain demonstrated the power of anti-Semitism to reshape politics. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "Behind the Bewildering Recent Incidents of Anti-Semitism," 16 Dec. 2019 Early on, his OnlyFans page was a bacchanal of foot fetishism. Jason Parham, WIRED, "When Influencers Switch Platforms—and Bare It All," 19 Aug. 2019 The Beach Boys’ fetishism still resonates today, possibly because the cars of that era remain un-car-like in their coolness and appeal. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, "Was the Automotive Era a Terrible Mistake?," 22 July 2019 The height of heels today is as ridiculous as Marie Antoinette’s wigs, a form of tulip-mania although far more painful and potentially harmful. Foot fetishism, anyone? Vogue, "Read the Funny, Fearless Judith Krantz on Dressing at 70 in Vogue," 24 June 2019 But his bigger target is authenticity fetishism, the backward-looking, vinyl-loving, locavore culture that distracts, like Nero’s fiddle, from natural and social disaster. Julian Lucas, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 10 May 2019 In wary opposition to the construction are the nomadic Tuareg people, who believe that permanent habitations are antithetical to the spirit of the region and, being Muslim, consider the settlers’ worship of gold to be a form of fetishism. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Heaven Is Not at All What You Think," 25 Jan. 2019 In mining the past, Soft Science sees new possibilities rather than a chance to indulge in retro fetishism. Greg Kot, chicagotribune.com, "Soft Science builds dreams amid chaos on 'Maps'," 8 June 2018

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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Cite this Entry

“Fetishism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fetishism. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for fetishism


variants: also fetichism \ -​ish-​ˌiz-​əm How to pronounce fetichism (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 fetichistic (audio) \ adjective
fetishistically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce fetishistically (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on fetishism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fetishism

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