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A theory attributing the origin of the gods to the deification of historical heroes.
[After Euhemerus, fourth-century bc Greek philosopher.]
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.
1. (Classical Myth & Legend) the theory that gods arose out of the deification of historical heroes
2. (Classical Myth & Legend) any interpretation of myths that derives the gods from outstanding men and seeks the source of mythology in history
[C19: named after Euhemerus (?300 bc), Greek philosopher who propounded this theory]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
eu•he•mer•ism(yuˈhi məˌrɪz əm, -ˈhɛm ə-)
1. (sometimes cap.) the theory that the gods and the myths associated with them arose from the deification of great persons.
2. any interpretation of myths that attributes their origin to historical persons.
eu•he′mer•ize`, v.t., v.i. -ized, -iz•ing.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
the belief that the mythological gods were merely early kings and heroes deified. — euhemerist, n. — euhemeristic, adj.See also: God and Gods
the belief that the mythological gods were merely legendary kings and heroes deified. — euhemerist, n. — euhemeristic, adj.See also: Mythology
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.