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euhemerism

[ yoo-hee-muh-riz-uhm, -hem-uh- ]
/ yuˈhi məˌrɪz əm, -ˈhɛm ə- /
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noun

(often initial capital letter) the theory of Euhemerus that the mythologies of various gods arose out of the deification of dead heroes.
the theory that mythology is derived from history.

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Origin of euhemerism

First recorded in 1840–50; Euhemer(us) + -ism
eu·he·mer·ist, nouneu·he·mer·is·tic, adjectiveeu·he·mer·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for euhemerism

euhemerism
/ (juːˈhiːməˌrɪzəm) /

noun

the theory that gods arose out of the deification of historical heroes
any interpretation of myths that derives the gods from outstanding men and seeks the source of mythology in history
euhemerist, nouneuhemeristic, adjectiveeuhemeristically, adverb
C19: named after Euhemerus (?300 bc), Greek philosopher who propounded this theory
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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