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 (yo͞o-hē′mə-rĭz′əm, -hĕm′ə-)
A theory attributing the origin of the gods to the deification of historical heroes.

[After Euhemerus, fourth-century bc Greek philosopher.]

eu·he′mer·ist n.
eu·he′mer·is′tic adj.
eu·he′mer·is′ti·cal·ly adv.
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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Sadly the editors chose 'fairy tale' for its more prosaic meaning, of a Bowdlerized and euhemeristic folk tale.
Through his analysis of The Argonauts of the Western Pacific, Stocking unveils the traces of a "euhemeristic foundational myth" where "the divinized heroes are not the Trobriand natives, but "the European Jason that brings back the Golden Fleece of ethnographic knowledge" (8).
Similarly, a "passage in Diodorus mentions Prometheus as the inventor of the flint-stone--an euhemeristic explanation of the myth.
(2) These two collections represent the first extant attempt of a Viet euhemeristic process.
HANSON, P., <<Rebellion in Heaven, Azazel and Euhemeristic Heroes in 1 Enoch 6-11>>, JBL 96/2 (1977) 195-233.
Azazel, and Euhemeristic Heroes in 1 Enoch 6-11," Journal of Biblical Literature 96 (1977): 195-233.
Symbolically, Bumppo has killed the primal father (the wilderness) in the very act of imitating and overcoming it, an act that can be regarded as euhemeristic in its implications.
In Holdstock's wonderful touch--his "playful Euhemeristic speculation," as Brown calls it (170)--in the war veteran's mythago Billy Frampton, we encounter the archetype of the WWI British officer, a popular trench-born legend:
The Islamic-hermetic qualities of Gebir situate Landor's euhemeristic writings within an oppositional prophetic tradition in which a compensatory narrative about the Protestant-Islamic republic seeks to overcome a frustrated political desire--Napoleon's betrayal of the spirit of the French Revolution.
fantasy the limits of mimetic art and the euhemeristic reading of myth