Definition of polytheism in US English:

polytheism

noun

  • 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 latter believed in caste system and untouchability, polytheism, idolatry, etc.’
    • ‘Students were assigned to three distinctive world views: monotheism, polytheism, and atheism.’
    • ‘To have your ultimate concern distributed in different directions is like polytheism - worship of many divinities.’
    • ‘Atheism, skepticism, polytheism, materialism, pantheism, and impersonalism are by their nature contrary to love.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Atheism and polytheism are extremist distortions of this central truth.’
    • ‘The ideological clash between monotheism and polytheism furnishes the world with one of its first examples of asymmetrical warfare.’
    • ‘Avraham was trying to start the spread of monotheism in place of polytheism.’
    • ‘This is not simply a clichéd clash between Islamic monotheism and Hindu polytheism as is made out in standard accounts on the subject.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Naturally, he regarded the pagan Platonists as mistaken in accepting polytheism, everlasting world-cycles, and the transmigration of souls.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In many circles of the Qawwal, tribute is paid to the mystic in words that entail transgression in terms of polytheism.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

polytheism

/ˈpɑliθiˌɪzəm//ˈpälēTHēˌizəm/