[ pol-ee-thee-iz-uh m, pol-ee-thee-iz-uh m ]
/ ˈpɒl i θiˌɪz əm, ˌpɒl iˈθi ɪz əm /


the doctrine of or belief in more than one god or in many gods.


Origin of polytheism

1605–15; poly- + theism; compare French polythéisme

Related forms

pol·y·the·ist, nounpol·y·the·is·tic, pol·y·the·is·ti·cal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for polytheism

British Dictionary definitions for polytheism


/ (ˈpɒlɪθiːˌɪzəm, ˌpɒlɪˈθiːɪzəm) /


the worship of or belief in more than one god

Derived Forms

polytheist, nounpolytheistic, adjectivepolytheistically, 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

Culture definitions for polytheism


The belief in more than one god. The ancient Greeks, for example, were polytheists; their gods included Apollo, Athena, Dionysus, and Zeus. (Compare monotheism.)

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.