cult

[ kuhlt ]
/ kʌlt /

noun

adjective

of or relating to a cult.
of, for, or attracting a small group of devotees: a cult movie.

Origin of cult

1610–20; < Latin cultus habitation, tilling, refinement, worship, equivalent to cul-, variant stem of colere to inhabit, till, worship + -tus suffix of v. action
Related formscul·tic, cul·tu·al [kuhl-choo-uh l] /ˈkʌl tʃu əl/, adjectivecult·ish, adjectivean·ti·cult, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for cultual

cult

/ (kʌlt) /

noun

Derived Formscultism, nouncultist, noun

Word Origin for cult

C17: from Latin cultus cultivation, refinement, from colere to till
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

Word Origin and History for cultual

cult


n.

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]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for cultual

cult


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.)

Note

The term cult often suggests extreme beliefs and bizarre behavior.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.