- 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
- 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 cultual
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.)