- a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
- an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
- the object of such devotion.
- a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
- Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.
- a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.
- the members of such a religion or sect.
- any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.
- of or relating to a cult.
- of, for, or attracting a small group of devotees: a cult movie.
Origin of cult
Related Wordsclan, faith, band, church, denomination, religion, sect, clique, ritual, body, school, faction, creed, following, party, persuasion, ceremony, admiration, veneration, idolization
Examples from the Web for cult
In the last year, her fusion exercise class has attracted a cult following and become de rigueur among the celebrity set.How Taryn Toomey’s ‘The Class’ Became New York’s Latest Fitness Craze
January 9, 2015
Malone first met Anderson by chance over a decade ago following the release of the cult hit Donnie Darko.Jena Malone’s Long, Strange Trip From Homelessness to Hollywood Stardom
December 22, 2014
The Cult of Pappy van Winkle By Elton Felton There are lines around the block and long waiting lists.Eight Must-read Stories About Nicaragua, School Shooters and the New Republic
The Daily Beast
December 6, 2014
The cult of corporatism allows us to reimagine the corporation as our ultimate access point to the infinitude of possibility.All Hail Shingy, AOL’s Goblin King
November 19, 2014
The film was critically panned upon its release, but has since gained a cult following.Charles Dance on Tywin Lannister’s S5 Return, A ‘Game of Thrones’ Movie,’ and Sexy Peter Dinklage
November 18, 2014
He brought before her mind those widows who make a cult of their dead.A Spirit in Prison
Here in Rome on every side was to be found the Cult of the Beautiful.The Prodigal Returns
I am impelled by no fanatical zeal, and have no creed or cult of my own to vindicate.
He had found these fine examples of it and he vowed them indeed a sort of cult.Tales Of Hearsay
Of all Oriental religions the Persian cult was the last to reach the Romans.The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism
- a specific system of religious worship, esp with reference to its rites and deity
- a sect devoted to such a system
- a quasi-religious organization using devious psychological techniques to gain and control adherents
- sociol a group having an exclusive ideology and ritual practices centred on sacred symbols, esp one characterized by lack of organizational structure
- intense interest in and devotion to a person, idea, or activitythe cult of yoga
- the person, idea, etc, arousing such devotion
- something regarded as fashionable or significant by a particular group
- (as modifier)a cult show
- (modifier) of, relating to, or characteristic of a cult or cultsa cult figure
Word Origin and History for cult
1610s, "worship," also "a particular form of worship," from French culte (17c.), from Latin cultus "care, labor; cultivation, culture; worship, reverence," originally "tended, cultivated," past participle of colere "to till" (see colony). Rare after 17c.; revived mid-19c. with reference to ancient or primitive rituals. Meaning "devotion to a person or thing" is from 1829.
Cult. An organized group of people, religious or not, with whom you disagree. [Rawson]
In anthropology, an organization for the conduct of ritual, magical, or other religious observances. Many so-called primitive tribes, for example, have ancestor cults, in which dead ancestors are considered divine and activities are organized to respect their memory and invoke their aid. A cult is also a religious group held together by a dominant, often charismatic individual, or by the worship of a divinity, an idol, or some other object. (See animism (see also animism), fetish, and totemism.)