Definition of polytheism in English:



  • The belief in or worship of more than one god.

    • ‘The nineteenth century notions of the evolution of religion from primitive animism to polytheism to monotheism have been falsified in tribe after tribe all over the world.’
    • ‘Atheism, skepticism, polytheism, materialism, pantheism, and impersonalism are by their nature contrary to love.’
    • ‘This is not simply a clichéd clash between Islamic monotheism and Hindu polytheism as is made out in standard accounts on the subject.’
    • ‘The latter believed in caste system and untouchability, polytheism, idolatry, etc.’
    • ‘In a contest with polytheism, monotheism is likely to prevail, and one who comes to hold that many natural phenomena were created intentionally probably will come to believe in God.’
    • ‘To have your ultimate concern distributed in different directions is like polytheism - worship of many divinities.’
    • ‘Atheism and polytheism are extremist distortions of this central truth.’
    • ‘While insisting that he is profoundly anticlerical and anti-ecclesiastical, Rorty envisions a future America with quasi-churches serving a national religion of romantic polytheism.’
    • ‘This is no place to discuss the relative virtues of monotheism and polytheism and their good or sinister influence upon the whole character, nay, the very life of individuals and nations.’
    • ‘Similarly, it knows nothing of ancestor worship, polytheism, diviners or demons, all of which are attested to in various forms in earlier Israelite popular religion.’
    • ‘Naturally, he regarded the pagan Platonists as mistaken in accepting polytheism, everlasting world-cycles, and the transmigration of souls.’
    • ‘Originally established as a response to polytheism and idol worship, Judaism has been quite successful in perpetuating its belief in monotheism in that it is the parent religion of both Christianity and Islam.’
    • ‘The Jews were called to reject polytheism and worship the one God, the Creator, whose will is revealed in the Torah, which comprises the first five books of the Bible (also known as the Pentateuch) and which contains the Ten Commandments.’
    • ‘The ideological clash between monotheism and polytheism furnishes the world with one of its first examples of asymmetrical warfare.’
    • ‘Students were assigned to three distinctive world views: monotheism, polytheism, and atheism.’
    • ‘He purges them of all traces of polytheism, idol worship and superstition and all that is associated with these rituals, habits and traditions which are unworthy of man.’
    • ‘This concession to polytheism greatly pleased the pagans, and when Muhammad reached the last verse of the Sura, they joined in the prostration enjoined there.’
    • ‘When his followers are resistant to his demand to abandon polytheism and worship one God instead, he resorts to the cave where the angel has spoken to him before.’
    • ‘Avraham was trying to start the spread of monotheism in place of polytheism.’
    • ‘In many circles of the Qawwal, tribute is paid to the mystic in words that entail transgression in terms of polytheism.’


Early 17th century: from French polythéisme, from Greek polutheos of many gods from polu- many + theos god.