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or fetichism

[fet-i-shiz-uh m, fee-ti-] /ˈfɛt ɪˌʃɪz əm, ˈfi tɪ-/
belief in or use of fetishes.
Psychiatry. the compulsive use of some object, or part of the body, as a stimulus in the course of attaining sexual gratification, as a shoe, a lock of hair, or underclothes.
blind devotion:
a fetishism of sacrifice to one's children.
Origin of fetishism
First recorded in 1795-1805; fetish + -ism
Related forms
fetishist, noun
fetishistic, adjective
fetishistically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fetishism
Historical Examples
  • We will exchange it even with Paganism, with fetishism; and, on the whole, must exchange it with something.

    Past and Present Thomas Carlyle
  • fetishism, phallicism, animism, and tree- and serpent-worship were very common.

    The Gist of Japan R. B. Peery
  • Our beginning is with the prevailing religion of Africa, fetishism.

  • fetishism, too, bulks largely in Egyptian religious conceptions.

  • fetishism is, as he says, an ill word, and has caused much confusion.

    Modern Mythology Andrew Lang
  • Our method of universal comparison was next justified in the matter of fetishism.

    Modern Mythology Andrew Lang
  • One of them is that on which we have just commented, the assimilation between Positivism and fetishism.

    August Comte and Positivism John-Stuart Mill
  • fetishism of the Zui description is, indeed, the natural concomitant of a totemic system.

  • fetishism had deeper roots than polytheism and lasted longer; and polytheism surpassed monotheism in vigour and vitality.

  • We call it Animism, Shamanism, and in a certain specific form, fetishism.

    The Shinto Cult

    Milton Spenser Terry
British Dictionary definitions for fetishism


/ˈfɛtɪˌʃɪzəm; ˈfiː-/
a condition in which the handling of an inanimate object or a specific part of the body other than the sexual organs is a source of sexual satisfaction
belief in or recourse to a fetish for magical purposes
excessive attention or attachment to something
Derived Forms
fetishist, fetichist, noun
fetishistic, fetichistic, adjective
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
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Word Origin and History for fetishism

1801, "worship of fetishes;" in the purely psycho-sexual sense first recorded 1897 in writings of Henry Havelock Ellis (1859-1939), from fetish + -ism.

In certain perversions of the sexual instinct, the person, part of the body, or particular object belonging to the person by whom the impulse is excited, is called the fetish of the patient. [E. Morselli in "Baldwin Dictionary of Philosophy," 1901]
Related: Fetishist (1845; psycho-sexual sense from 1897).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fetishism in Medicine

fetishism fet·ish·ism (fět'ĭ-shĭz'əm, fē'tĭ-)
The act of using a fetish for sexual arousal and gratification.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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