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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
While warming them to abstain from vices such as drug abuse, advance fee fraud, kidnapping, robbery, cultism, violence and cyber-crimes, the governor described youths as the most productive segment of Nigerian population, saying that the nation's plans for the future cannot be actualised without the involvement and active participation of the youths.
"The biggest achievement of this election is that it has ended casteism, cultism, monarchy and hooliganism.
Speaking during the flag-off ceremony of the initiative, Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State, called on the management of the Institute to organise more workshops in the area of drugs , violence in schools, cultism and examination malpractices.
He blames excessive leader agency, coercive persuasion, and corporate cultism for many problems in leadership.
Persons who themselves seemed unconcerned about the scientific integrity of the discipline, took easier paths and did not understand his position; labeled it 'monomania', 'cultism', 'jealousy', etc.
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.
Popoola and Alao (2005) agree that campus cultism was not originally associated with violence and secrecy of operations.
"This is a far cry from the allegations of brainwashing and cultism which Mr Curtis, and now the media, sought to portray."
Cultism has remained a problem for tertiary institutions in Nigeria and the Larger Nigerian society since the first decade of the existence of university education in Nigeria.
Appreciating the "sweet and joyous" (193) activity of these fans, Miller nonetheless rejects cultism as necessarily progressive.
It was supposed to be about the tragedy of becoming a cult leader or about California cultism." The writing didn't come easily, and Muzquiz and Lopez-Crozet decamped for a Brazilian holiday.