totem


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to·tem

 (tō′təm)
n.
1.
a. An animal, plant, or natural object serving among certain tribal or traditional peoples as the emblem of a clan or family and sometimes revered as its founder, ancestor, or guardian.
b. A representation of such an object.
c. A social group having a common affiliation to such an object.
2. A venerated emblem or symbol: "grew up with the totems and taboos typical of an Irish Catholic kid in Boston" (Connie Paige).

[Ojibwa nindoodem, my totem.]

to·tem′ic (-tĕm′ĭk) adj.

totem

(ˈtəʊtəm)
n
1. (Anthropology & Ethnology) (in some societies, esp among North American Indians) an object, species of animal or plant, or natural phenomenon symbolizing a clan, family, etc, often having ritual associations
2. (Anthropology & Ethnology) a representation of such an object
[C18: from Ojibwa nintōtēm mark of my family]
totemic adj
toˈtemically adv

to•tem

(ˈtoʊ təm)

n.
1. a natural object or an animate being, as an animal or bird, assumed as the emblem of a clan, family, or group.
2. a representation of such an object or being serving as the distinctive mark of the clan or group.
3. anything serving as a distinctive, often venerated, emblem or symbol.
[1750–60, Amer.; < Ojibwa ninto·te·m my totem, oto·te·man his totem]
to•tem′ic (-ˈtɛm ɪk) adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.totem - a clan or tribe identified by their kinship to a common totemic objecttotem - a clan or tribe identified by their kinship to a common totemic object
kin group, kindred, kinship group, clan, kin, tribe - group of people related by blood or marriage
totemist - a person who belongs to a clan or tribe having a totem
2.totem - emblem consisting of an object such as an animal or planttotem - emblem consisting of an object such as an animal or plant; serves as the symbol of a family or clan (especially among American Indians)
emblem - special design or visual object representing a quality, type, group, etc.
U.S.A., United States, United States of America, US, USA, America, the States, U.S. - North American republic containing 50 states - 48 conterminous states in North America plus Alaska in northwest North America and the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean; achieved independence in 1776
Translations
طوطم: حَيوان أو نَبات كَرَمْز مُقَدَّس
totem
totem
totem
tótem
totemastotemo stulpas
totēms

totem

[ˈtəʊtəm]
A. Ntótem m
B. CPD totem pole Ntótem m

totem

[ˈtəʊtəm] n
(= symbolic animal, plant) → totem m
(= important symbol) → icône ftotem pole nmât m totémique

totem

nTotem nt

totem

[ˈtəʊtəm] ntotem m inv

totem

(ˈtoutəm) noun
(an image of) an animal or plant used as the badge or sign of a tribe, among North American Indians etc.
totem pole
a large wooden pole on which totems are carved and painted.
References in classic literature ?
Of totem, I know not the meaning; but if it appertaineth in any wise to the art of Indian music, it need not be inquired after at their hands.
Had they held their corn feast--or can you say anything of the totems of the tribe?
The white satin was darkened everywhere with big brown stains, the gold threads on the crowned harp were frayed and discoloured, and the Red Bull, the totem of the Mavericks, was coffee-hued.
Kim, with slightly raised head, was still staring at his totem on the table, when the Chaplain stepped on his right shoulder-blade.
But, in the first place, New York was a metropolis, and perfectly aware that in metropolises it was "not the thing" to arrive early at the opera; and what was or was not "the thing" played a part as important in Newland Archer's New York as the inscrutable totem terrors that had ruled the destinies of his forefathers thousands of years ago.
In the centre of the mantel was a stuffed bird-of-paradise, while about the room were scattered gorgeous shells from the southern seas, delicate sprays of coral sprouting from barnacled pi-pi shells and cased in glass, assegais from South Africa, stone axes from New Guinea, huge Alaskan tobacco-pouches beaded with heraldic totem designs, a boomerang from Australia, divers ships in glass bottles, a cannibal kai-kai bowl from the Marquesas, and fragile cabinets from China and the Indies and inlaid with mother-of-pearl and precious woods.
In these days of fatted cattle and waving grain-fields this humble root, which was once the totem of an Indian tribe, is quite forgotten, or known only by its flowering vine; but let wild Nature reign here once more, and the tender and luxurious English grains will probably disappear before a myriad of foes, and without the care of man the crow may carry back even the last seed of corn to the great cornfield of the Indian's God in the southwest, whence he is said to have brought it; but the now almost exterminated ground-nut will perhaps revive and flourish in spite of frosts and wildness, prove itself indigenous, and resume its ancient importance and dignity as the diet of the hunter tribe.
He had seen totems before, and knew them for what they were.
Quick-growing trees had shadowed the kingposts so that the idols and totems, seated in carved shark jaws, grinned greenly and monstrously at the futility of man through a rime of moss and mottled fungus.
Three of the totems are made of bronze and are uncoated--the presentation piece and a pair dedicated to the two World Wars--while the other one hundred and one totems have been cast from aluminium and glass and are dedicated to the winners of the Tour.
Children at the Yorkshire Scukpture Park and, left: youngsters |with their totem poles
When the brainstorming about what to place on the totem that would comprise the poles began, it became obvious one would not be enough.