totemism

noun
to·​tem·​ism | \ ˈtō-tə-ˌmi-zəm How to pronounce totemism (audio) \

Definition of totemism

1 : belief in kinship with or a mystical relationship between a group or an individual and a totem
2 : a system of social organization based on totemic affiliations

First Known Use of totemism

1791, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about totemism

Time Traveler for totemism

Time Traveler

The first known use of totemism was in 1791

See more words from the same year

Statistics for totemism

Cite this Entry

“Totemism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/totemism. Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on totemism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about totemism

Comments on totemism

What made you want to look up totemism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!