to·​tem·​ic tō-ˈte-mik How to pronounce totemic (audio)
: of, relating to, suggestive of, or characteristic of a totem or totemism
a totemic animal
: based on or practicing totemism
totemic clan structure

Examples of totemic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pink was a totemic color for Mr. Cormier, who deployed it in a seasonal installation in Montreal called Pink Balls — 170,000 strands of pink plastic spheres suspended over Sainte-Catherine Street East, a predominantly gay neighborhood, that transformed it into a pedestrian mall. Penelope Green, New York Times, 8 Oct. 2023 The point of the new biopic mode was to reveal totemic figures in a more complex way. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 8 Feb. 2024 One piece, the totemic Big Lamp, combines marble and stone in the base, while a textured palm-fiber shade brings softness to the form. Rachel Gallaher, Robb Report, 25 Feb. 2024 Huma Bhabha David Zwirner (February 22–April 6) Bhabha’s rough-hewn, totemic sculptures depict demons, deities, and warning spirits. Vulture, 3 Jan. 2024 Yet Tesla’s totemic CEO held out hope to shareholders bitter at losing the industry’s top spot to the new number one, BYD of China. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 25 Jan. 2024 But Ludwig Göransson’s Oppenheimer score feels like the most totemic of the bunch. Nate Jones, Vulture, 4 Jan. 2024 For whatever reason, book bans are once again being promoted as a totemic protector of children. Fabio Bertoni, The New Yorker, 7 Dec. 2023 And where is Tesla’s totemic CEO when times are tough? Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 17 Nov. 2023

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

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of totemic was in 1846

Dictionary Entries Near totemic

Cite this Entry

“Totemic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

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