Definition of totem pole in US English:

totem pole


  • 1A pole on which totems are hung or on which the images of totems are carved.

    • ‘Could it be a totem pole - or some other structure of symbolic importance?’
    • ‘They were carrying a Mbitoro carving, which resembled a large totem pole, to be erected near a longhouse at the fourth Kamoro Festival opened on April 26.’
    • ‘Find a totem pole in each level, and that's your base station to change between characters.’
    • ‘Traditionally, a feast called a potlatch was held whenever a new totem pole was raised.’
    • ‘Although, bizarrely, the circle also included two tepees and what appeared to be a totem pole.’
    • ‘The totem pole is similar to the one in Sissen: a single branch, maybe 10 metres long, held upright by a pyramid of smaller branches at its base, festooned with pots.’
    • ‘The cabinet's plastic laminate finishes were inspired by fifties' coffee bars and its humanoid form suggests a totem pole or temple guardian figure.’
    • ‘One painting depicts an ax-wielding totem pole that is about to strike at a bizarre birdbath in the shape of Noah's Ark.’
    • ‘It was said that no harm would come to the boat so long as she carried her totem pole - but it was removed when she was sold to Israel, and the pole is now on display in the RN Submarine Museum in Gosport.’
    • ‘When my fourth-graders began a project about the Northwest American Indian tribes, it provided the perfect opportunity for us to create a three-dimensional totem pole in art class.’
    • ‘The memorable events would be symbolized and carved into a totem pole that would stand at the pinnacle of the pagoda roof for the next year's gyre journey.’
    • ‘A totem pole sits on school grounds and a profile of an Indian head with a headdress is used on school materials, Shank said.’
    • ‘Our hippie-teacher took us aside and quietly told us that rather than fashioning eyes for our totem pole, we had fashioned breasts.’
    • ‘He unwraps a miniature totem pole about ten inches high.’
    • ‘When one pagan group was ordered to dismantle a totem pole over which libations were poured, they simply placed a bust of Lenin on top and continued as before.’
    • ‘It had an Indian theme - all the conference rooms were named after tribes, there was Indian art and artifacts, a totem pole was by the pool, etc.’
    • ‘It houses old photographs and objects used for the society's rituals, which include a totem pole and other items coalition members refer to as ‘Red Sambos.’’
    • ‘Imitate a series of bird calls by pushing parts of a totem pole; re-create an alien alphabetic character by rotating three concentric rings; counterbalance electromagnetic forces to make an object float in the right place.’
    • ‘The odd totem pole aside, almost nothing has been done to create a total environment in the marquee.’
    • ‘The Return of the G'psgolox Pole, is a documentary about the Haisla community in Kitimaat Village in Northern BC and their quest to bring home a long-lost totem pole.’
  • 2North American A hierarchy.

    ‘the social totem pole’
    • ‘If there's a genre lower on the commercial totem pole than drama, it might be theatre criticism.’
    • ‘He was insane for thinking that this whole thing would be easy; too many years being low man on the totem pole convinced him that his years of dealing with this stuff on a daily basis were worthless.’
    • ‘So therefore, they're the low guys on the totem pole when it comes to public funding.’
    • ‘Musicians, as a class, have been rather low on the social totem pole for a long time.’
    • ‘Well, I got to tell you, you're the lowest man on the totem pole in that society.’
    • ‘Not all participants at the conference, however, rejected their position at the bottom of the political totem pole.’
    • ‘She was ‘perfect’ because she is a creative freethinker, but mostly because she was lowest on the totem pole, and was unable to refuse without endangering her job.’
    • ‘I don't know where we'd been on the social totem pole, but that was the thing about my Katie.’
    • ‘It's funny how just a few months ago these kids were confident seniors at the top of the highschool foodchain, and now they were young naive newbies headed off to a new school as the low kids on the totem pole.’
    • ‘Eventually it comes down to the lowest guy on the totem pole who gets stuck in this situation, and it's a career-limiting move for them to complain about it.’
    • ‘As a gamer, dancing and exercising rank low on the totem pole of life's priorities.’
    • ‘He was the lowest man on the social totem pole - not only did he touch people, but he was a merchant to boot.’
    • ‘I was just starting out in the industry, and as low man on the totem pole, was running around like mad trying to get everyone fixed.’
    • ‘Auditors are even lower on the totem pole than lawyers, people!’
    • ‘Were all these hacks so low on the totem pole that they were unable to turn down the assignment?’
    • ‘He said you can't go because you're too low on the totem pole.’
    • ‘Barry plods through the day's trading, being low man on the totem pole, always with the idea that when he has made some money he and his family will go back to the West and live the life they desire, but the next time with some security.’
    • ‘We are the lowest group on the totem pole, with about 7 percent of the company's wages.’
    • ‘Legislators must be asking themselves why they're so low on the totem pole when members of the new Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will make $145,000 annually and can work other jobs as well.’
    • ‘A person is seen as lower on the totem pole if they have to ask questions.’


totem pole

/ˈtoʊdəm ˌpoʊl//ˈtōdəm ˌpōl/