Definition of fertility cult in US English:

fertility cult


  • A pagan religious system of some agricultural societies in which seasonal rites are performed with the aim of ensuring good harvests and the future well-being of the community.

    • ‘In all the ‘higher’ religions, pilgrimage replicates the inclusiveness of earth and fertility cults earlier observed in tribal societies.’
    • ‘Historians have suggested that they were a key element in a fertility cult and have interpreted the curious lines (that link the beautifully drawn beasts to small human forms) as lines of power.’
    • ‘Descended from the Sumerian goddess Inanna, she embodied an overt sexuality and provided a link with ancient matriarchal fertility cults.’
    • ‘This is Dan Brown's novel which, according to one reviewer, concerns ‘secret codes, elaborate technology, pagan sex orgies, pre-Christian fertility cults, Gnostic Gospels, brutal murders and feminist theory’.’
    • ‘Non-Muslims believe the rituals to have included fertility cults such as rain-making which are found in numerous cultures.’
    • ‘Besides a long essay on Romanticism (written at twenty), he singles out subsequent Emmanuel divinity school essays on topics from Lull to fertility cults.’
    • ‘Tree worship - though at times cultural and even religion specific - has an underlying strain of fertility cult expressed through folklore.’
    • ‘I saw one such doc that had a different tone; it was all about the fertility cults.’
    • ‘It ‘began’ around 500 BC as a loosely connected mix of nature worship, fertility cults, divination techniques and shamanism.’
    • ‘TV pretty much has the fertility cult angle covered.’
    • ‘The reputed links can be contextualised as a descendant of the Frazerian line of thinking about folk customs as relics of fertility cults of ancient origin.’
    • ‘This, as an anthropologist friend pointed out to me later, indicated the existence of a fertility cult that has its roots in antiquity.’
    • ‘‘At that time, humans and animals lived in close partnership, and the creatures had their place in the natural religions and fertility cults, honored as sacred beings and mystical symbols,’ writes Groning and Saller.’
    • ‘Here, however, the echo is of icons related to various prehistoric fertility cults.’
    • ‘Known variously as gwandusu, gwandenw, or jomogoniw, sculptures of this type served as religious icons in a fertility cult that is widely dispersed among the Bamana.’
    • ‘Their source seems to lie in the pre-Aryan fertility cults of India.’
    • ‘The British anthropologist and folklorist James Frazer interpreted early human societies as using fertility cults and their magical power in efforts to renew the generative powers of the natural world.’
    • ‘The studies on the fertility cult of Kerala, Tulu folklore, communication of Kani tribes and the life of Koragas, the hill tribes of Northern Kerala, are some of the other areas in which he has conducted elaborate research.’
    • ‘The pre-modern in Eliot's poetry is a matter of Fisher Kings and fertility cults; in his prose it is a question of classical order, Tory traditionalism and the Christian church.’
    • ‘Smaller figures of similar form are used in fertility cults.’


fertility cult

/fərˈtilədē ˌkəlt/