poly·​the·​ism ˈpä-lē-(ˌ)thē-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce polytheism (audio)
: belief in or worship of more than one god
polytheist adjective or noun

Examples of polytheism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pagan polytheism in ancient Rome was dizzyingly complicated, the gods seen as constant companions who hovered over the city’s mortal residents from birth to death, communicating with them incessantly but obliquely from their temples and shrines. David Laskin Martin Pauer, New York Times, 1 May 2023 Fascinating finds related to religious history tell a story of diverse, competing yet sometimes complementary worldviews, from the polytheism of the ancient Greeks and Romans to Buddhism to Christianity. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Dec. 2022 In any case, in Mesopotamia outside forces can not account from the shift from institutional polytheism to monotheistic universalist religion. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 10 Aug. 2012 Zahra, who also goes by Ankhzahra Soshotep, is a Black nationalist from Chicago, a member of a sect that practices Egyptian polytheism. Judith Shulevitz, The Atlantic, 8 Dec. 2022 The ensuing murder of Poseidon, and the resulting floods throughout the Greek world, set the stakes: Kratos is about to dismantle Greek polytheism with his bare hands. Gene Park, Washington Post, 4 Nov. 2022 Like the gods of ancient polytheism, modern values are always in conflict. Peter E. Gordon, The New York Review of Books, 19 Nov. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'polytheism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French polytheisme, from Late Greek polytheos polytheistic, from Greek, of many gods, from poly- + theos god

First Known Use

1613, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of polytheism was in 1613

Dictionary Entries Near polytheism

Cite this Entry

“Polytheism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polytheism. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


poly·​the·​ism ˈpäl-i-(ˌ)thē-ˌiz-əm How to pronounce polytheism (audio)
: belief in or worship of more than one god
polytheist adjective or noun
polytheistic adjective

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