[hen-uh-thee-iz-uh m]


the worship of a particular god, as by a family or tribe, without disbelieving in the existence of others.
ascription of supreme divine attributes to whichever one of several gods is addressed at the time.

Origin of henotheism

1855–60; < Greek heno-, combining form of hén one (neuter of heîs) + theism
Related formshen·o·the·ist, nounhen·o·the·is·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for henotheism

Historical Examples of henotheism

  • In contrast with 'henotheism' or 'monolatry,' such as the worship of the early Hebrews.

    Outspoken Essays

    William Ralph Inge

  • It would thus appear almost as if all gods are one god to Mr. Frazer by a kind of scientific 'Henotheism.'

  • Henotheism, a polytheism which assigns to one god of the pantheon superiority over the rest.

    The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

    Edited by Rev. James Wood

  • There was no henotheism, no worship of several single supreme deities: One only was supreme.

    Moon Lore

    Timothy Harley

  • It marks the highest point to which the Hebrew race attained in its progress from henotheism to monotheism.

British Dictionary definitions for henotheism



the worship of one deity (of several) as the special god of one's family, clan, or tribe
Derived Formshenotheist, nounhenotheistic, adjective

Word Origin for henotheism

C19: from Greek heis one + theos god
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 henotheism

1860, from Greek henos, neuter of eis "one" (from PIE *sem- "one, as one") + theism. Devotion to a single god without asserting that he is the only god. Coined by (Friedrich) Max Müller (1823-1900), professor of comparative philology at Oxford. Related: Henotheist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper