to·​tem·​ic | \ tō-ˈte-mik How to pronounce totemic (audio) \

Definition of totemic

1 : of, relating to, suggestive of, or characteristic of a totem or totemism a totemic animal
2 : based on or practicing totemism totemic clan structure

Examples of totemic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Henry Selick is one of the most dynamic figures in the history of feature animation, having directed totemic movies such as The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach. David Sims, The Atlantic, 23 Sep. 2022 Cisneros’s success, and her support of programs such as Macondo, have given her a totemic reputation. Yxta Maya Murray, The New Yorker, 21 Sep. 2022 This protective structure bears stylized images of bodies, not to mention plenty of cats, and is surrounded by ceramic hybrid animal-human figures that function like totemic protectors. Los Angeles Times, 27 Aug. 2022 United is England’d most storied side, having scooped up 20 league titles, one more than archrival Liverpool—13 of which were won under its totemic former manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 17 Aug. 2022 The work was grotesquely beautiful and perversely hopeful—a startling melding of cyberpunk and craft influences that felt at once precarious and totemic. Sean Santiago, ELLE Decor, 26 May 2022 And there is the Instagram phenomenon of certain white ones taking on the totemic allure of the Parthenon. Julie Lasky, ELLE Decor, 27 Apr. 2022 Finally, as is fitting for a totemic figure in the world of entertainment whose blockbusters continue to captivate millions to this day, the family signed off on a note of optimism. Vogue, 30 Mar. 2022 The last few years have not been easy for the totemic figures of American history, caught in the crossfire of our culture wars. Washington Post, 15 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of totemic

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of totemic was in 1846

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Last Updated

27 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Totemic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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