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[hen-uh-thee-iz-uh m] /ˈhɛn ə θiˌɪz əm/
the worship of a particular god, as by a family or tribe, without disbelieving in the existence of others.
ascription of supreme divine attributes to whichever one of several gods is addressed at the time.
Origin of henotheism
1855-60; < Greek heno-, combining form of hén one (neuter of heîs) + theism
Related forms
henotheist, noun
henotheistic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for henotheism
Historical Examples
  • In contrast with 'henotheism' or 'monolatry,' such as the worship of the early Hebrews.

    Outspoken Essays William Ralph Inge
  • It would thus appear almost as if all gods are one god to Mr. Frazer by a kind of scientific 'henotheism.'

    Magic and Religion Andrew Lang
  • henotheism, a polytheism which assigns to one god of the pantheon superiority over the rest.

    The Nuttall Encyclopaedia Edited by Rev. James Wood
  • There was no henotheism, no worship of several single supreme deities: One only was supreme.

    Moon Lore Timothy Harley
  • It marks the highest point to which the Hebrew race attained in its progress from henotheism to monotheism.

British Dictionary definitions for henotheism


the worship of one deity (of several) as the special god of one's family, clan, or tribe
Derived Forms
henotheist, noun
henotheistic, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Greek heis one + theos god
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 henotheism

1860, from Greek henos, neuter of eis "one" (from PIE *sem- "one, as one") + theism. Devotion to a single god without asserting that he is the only god. Coined by (Friedrich) Max Müller (1823-1900), professor of comparative philology at Oxford. Related: Henotheist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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