Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


or fetich

[fet-ish, fee-tish] /ˈfɛt ɪʃ, ˈfi tɪʃ/
an object regarded with awe as being the embodiment or habitation of a potent spirit or as having magical potency.
any object, idea, etc., eliciting unquestioning reverence, respect, or devotion:
to make a fetish of high grades.
Psychology. any object or nongenital part of the body that causes a habitual erotic response or fixation.
Origin of fetish
1605-15; earlier fateish < Portuguese feitiço charm, sorcery (noun), artificial (adj.) < Latin factīcius factitious; replacing fatisso, fetisso < Portuguese, as above
Related forms
fetishlike, adjective
1. talisman, amulet. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for fetich
Historical Examples
  • His fetich is, therefore, preferred by the hunter of these animals.

    Zui Fetiches Frank Hamilton Cushing
  • Then, taking out the fetich, he breathes on it and from it, and exclaims "Si!"

    Zui Fetiches Frank Hamilton Cushing
  • The other was drawn from a sketch made by myself of a fetich in Zuñi.

    Zui Fetiches Frank Hamilton Cushing
  • As with the Hunter, so with the Warrior, the fetich is fed on the life-blood of the slain.

    Zui Fetiches Frank Hamilton Cushing
  • I remembered in time that he did not know we called it the fetich.

    We Ten

    Lyda Farrington Kraus
  • He has been working like a slave ever since—oh, what beasts we were to get up that fetich joke!

    We Ten

    Lyda Farrington Kraus
  • In this world the killer can command, as his fetich, the soul of the killed.


    William Graham Sumner
  • Cherokee medicine is an empiric development of the fetich idea.

  • I would hide it from human gaze and cherish it as a sort of fetich.

  • She had one fetich, the candles must be extinguished at ten o'clock.

    A Portrait of Old George Town Grace Dunlop Ecker
British Dictionary definitions for fetich


/ˈfɛtɪʃ; ˈfiːtɪʃ/
something, esp an inanimate object, that is believed in certain cultures to be the embodiment or habitation of a spirit or magical powers
  1. a form of behaviour involving fetishism
  2. any object that is involved in fetishism
any object, activity, etc, to which one is excessively or irrationally devoted: to make a fetish of cleanliness
Derived Forms
fetish-like, fetich-like, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from French fétiche, from Portuguese feitiço (n) sorcery, from adj: artificial, from Latin factīcius made by art, factitious
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for fetich



1610s, fatisso, from Portuguese feitiço "charm, sorcery," from Latin facticius "made by art," from facere "to make" (see factitious).

Latin facticius in Spanish has become hechizo "magic, witchcraft, sorcery." Probably introduced by Portuguese sailors and traders as a name for charms and talismans worshipped by the inhabitants of the Guinea coast of Africa. Popularized in anthropology by C. de Brosses' "Le Culte des Dieux Fétiches" (1760), which influenced the word's spelling in English (French fétiche, also from the Portuguese word). Figurative sense of "something irrationally revered" is American English, 1837.

Any material image of a religious idea is an idol; a material object in which force is supposed to be concentrated is a Fetish; a material object, or a class of material objects, plants, or animals, which is regarded by man with superstitious respect, and between whom and man there is supposed to exist an invisible but effective force, is a Totem. [J. Fitzgerald Lee, "The Greater Exodus," London, 1903]
For sexual sense, see fetishism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
fetich in Medicine

fetish fet·ish (fět'ĭsh, fē'tĭsh)

  1. Something, such as an object or a nonsexual part of the body, that arouses sexual desire and may become necessary for sexual gratification.

  2. An abnormally obsessive preoccupation or attachment.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
fetich in Culture

fetish definition

An object believed to carry a magical or spiritual force. Some so-called primitive tribes practice cult worship of fetishes. (See animism and totemism.)

Note: Figuratively, a “fetish” is any object that arouses excessive devotion: “Lucille made a fetish of her Porsche.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for fetich

Difficulty index for fetish

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for fetich

Scrabble Words With Friends