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a. A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.
b. The followers of such a religion or sect.
2. A system or community of religious worship and ritual.
3. The formal means of expressing religious reverence; religious ceremony and ritual.
4. A usually nonscientific method or regimen claimed by its originator to have exclusive or exceptional power in curing a particular disease.
a. Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing.
b. The object of such devotion.
6. An exclusive group of persons sharing an esoteric, usually artistic or intellectual interest.

[Latin cultus, worship, from past participle of colere, to cultivate; see kwel- in Indo-European roots.]

cul′tic, cult′ish adj.
cult′ism n.
cult′ist n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cultism - devotion to the doctrine or a cult or to the practices of a cult
devotion - commitment to some purpose; "the devotion of his time and wealth to science"
2.cultism - religious zealcultism - religious zeal; the willingness to serve God
worship - the activity of worshipping
Bible-worship, bibliolatry - the worship of the Bible
grammatolatry, verbolatry, word-worship - the worship of words
symbolatry, symbololatry, symbol-worship - the worship of symbols
anthropolatry, worship of man - the worship of human beings
gynaeolatry, gyneolatry, woman-worship - the worship of women
lordolatry - the worship of a lord because of his rank or title
miracle-worship, thaumatolatry - the worship of miracles
place-worship, topolatry - the worship of places
References in periodicals archive ?
Carmel events, Koresh and his followers were not only charged with complicity in and the commission of unlawful sexual acts involving minors, but also with cultism.
Curl also examines spiritual communism which focuses on charismatic leaders and can result in separatism and cultism.
He blames excessive leader agency, coercive persuasion, and corporate cultism for many problems in leadership.
The show thus set out the full, bewildering plethora of Shavian themes, which range from the perennial big topics (sex, religion, myth, the unconscious, cultism, consumerism, advertising, US politics, history, and culture) to a tsunami of minutiae: obscure rock groups, comics, holy imagery seen in pizza toppings, and the complex rigmarole of "Oism," Shaw's homegrown, Mormon-style feminist cult.
Dictatorship culminates to cultism, for Gaddafi, he was the alpha and the omega, the pillar of knowledge (Al-Muallim), the great thinker (Mufaqqir), the engineer (Al-Mu-andis) to many of his Hench-men, then to a common man Libyan, this led the rot of the regime run to the very marrow of the nation, what a travesty?
This coordination is most clear in our "identical views and close stances as well as the harmony in efforts towards the complexities of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the repercussions of the Syrian crisis, the dangers of spreading nuclear weapons in the region, and the relentless efforts to extinguish the fire of sectarian seditions and cultism in the region," Prince Saud added.
Evidently he can overlook a little cultism when the alternative is another four years of Barack Obama.
The Crimses are exemplars of the many thousands of residents of other states, especially from the Midwest, who migrated to Southern California in the earliest decades of the twentieth century; the New York Times called the Crimses "convincing specimens of their class" ("Religious Mania" 15), whose number and religious beliefs and practices contributed to the now-legendary reputation that Southern California earned, deservedly or otherwise, as the nexus of spiritual cultism and fanaticism in the United States.
It is important to mention here that cultism and kidnapping, which in the present-day Nigerian society have become instruments of social destabilisation and disquietude, used to be veritable tools of social organisation and communal cohesion.
The Freethinkers Child" combines theology, cultism, the paranormal, satanic worship, and the supernatural.
This is a far cry from the allegations of brainwashing and cultism which Mr Curtis, and now the media, sought to portray.