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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 ?
He advised the students to shun cultism, violence, examination malpractice and other vices.
Theoretical perspectives on campus cultism and violence in Nigerian Universities: A Review and Conceptual Approach.
Charismatic leadership and corporate cultism at Enron: The elimination of dissent, the promotion of conformity and organizational collapse.
an has been taking measures that resonated with authoritarianism and enforced cultism.
Neither is the citizen-centred security challenges such as ethno-religious violence, election violence and even armed robbery and campus cultism only restricted to citizens.
Over the past one and half decades, Nigeria has witnessed continual increase in various forms of aggressive acts, ranging from militant youth violence and kidnapping of foreign oil workers in the Niger delta in the south-south and south eastern Nigeria, killing, bullying and school cultism (gangster) in most of the educational institutions, and terrorism with consequent destruction of life and properties in north eastern Nigeria (Ajayi, Ekundayo, & Osalusi, 2010; Aluede, 2011; Arijesujo & Olusanya, 2011; Egbue, 2006; Ibeanu, 2008; International crisis group, 2006; Omoteso, 2010; Onyeizugbo, 2009; Oxford Research Group, 2012).
The resultant effect is that some of those unemployed graduates get themselves gainfully employed in criminal activities such as cultism, kidnapping, election fraud and political gangsterism (Omirin, 2006); others, through nepotism, favoritism, tribalism and quota system find their way into political leadership and other sectors of the economy, including education in the primary, secondary and even tertiary institutions of learning.
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.
Such an apparent historic life was the stuff of literary legend and cultism, making it all the more difficult to locate and evaluate the essence of Fitzgerald amidst a sea of cultural clutter.
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 Rastafarians: A Study in Messianic Cultism in Jamaica.