totemic

adjective
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

Their spaces were dominated by faux farmhouse furniture, along with such totemic accessories as bunches of dried lavender in pitchers, floral-print bedspreads and ceramic grasshoppers. Alexander Lobrano, WSJ, "The New Provence: From Quaint to Uber-Chic," 11 July 2019 In the conversation of my parents and their theater-going friends, Hecht popped up as a familiar, almost totemic presence. Geoffrey O’brien, The New York Review of Books, "A Boundless Capacity for Talk," 18 Apr. 2019 Chances that growth will slow further, or the yuan will sink below the totemic level of seven to the dollar—or both—are rising. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "China’s Growth, Currency Outlooks Darken Again," 10 June 2019 Art brut was a source of inspiration for the painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet’s own work, which ranged from primitive-looking drawings scratched into impasto to a totemic figure composed only of two unmodified grapevine roots and a block of slag. Nicole Rudick, The New York Review of Books, "Nicole Rudick," 7 Nov. 2018 Halloween positions this shift less as Laurie overcoming her trauma and more as Laurie fighting back against something totemic that has plagued all of humanity — but, also, disproportionately women. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The new Halloween reimagines the franchise as a tale of maternal warrior women," 19 Oct. 2018 In turn, this letter attracted protest from some younger party members, for whom trans rights are totemic. The Economist, "A culture war comes to Westminster," 5 July 2018 Newspapers in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, closely covered the trial, granting it a totemic status that extended beyond any specific crimes Woewiyu himself may have committed. Kelly Brennan, Philly.com, "Delco man convicted of hiding past as Liberian war criminal," 3 July 2018 The Trib was known as a writer’s paper, and while there Wolfe made forays beyond totemic somnambulism. Ben Yagoda, WSJ, "An Appreciation: Tom Wolfe," 18 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of totemic

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

8 Aug 2019

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The first known use of totemic was in 1846

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