[ yoo-hee-muh-riz-uhm, -hem-uh- ]

  1. (often initial capital letter) the theory of Euhemerus that the mythologies of various gods arose out of the deification of dead heroes.

  2. the theory that mythology is derived from history.

Origin of euhemerism

First recorded in 1840–50; Euhemer(us) + -ism

Other words from euhemerism

  • eu·he·mer·ist, noun
  • eu·he·mer·is·tic, adjective
  • eu·he·mer·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb

Words Nearby euhemerism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use euhemerism in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for euhemerism


/ (juːˈhiːməˌrɪzəm) /

  1. the theory that gods arose out of the deification of historical heroes

  2. any interpretation of myths that derives the gods from outstanding men and seeks the source of mythology in history

Origin of euhemerism

C19: named after Euhemerus (?300 bc), Greek philosopher who propounded this theory

Derived forms of euhemerism

  • euhemerist, noun
  • euhemeristic, adjective
  • euhemeristically, 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