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[pol-ee-thee-iz-uh m, pol-ee-thee-iz-uh m] /ˈpɒl i θiˌɪz əm, ˌpɒl iˈθi ɪz əm/
the doctrine of or belief in more than one god or in many gods.
Origin of polytheism
1605-15; poly- + theism; compare French polythéisme
Related forms
polytheist, noun
polytheistic, polytheistical, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for polytheism


/ˈpɒlɪθiːˌɪzəm; ˌpɒlɪˈθiːɪzəm/
the worship of or belief in more than one god
Derived Forms
polytheist, noun
polytheistic, adjective
polytheistically, adverb
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 polytheism

1610s, from French polythéisme (16c.), formed from Greek polytheia "polytheism," polytheos "of many gods," from polys "many" (see poly-) + theos "god" (see Thea).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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polytheism in Culture

polytheism definition

The belief in more than one god. The ancient Greeks, for example, were polytheists; their gods included Apollo, Athena, Dionysus, and Zeus. (Compare monotheism.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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