[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. polytechnic,
  2. polytendinitis,
  3. polytene,
  4. polytene chromosome,
  5. polytetrafluoroethylene,
  6. polytheist,
  7. polytheistic,
  8. polythelia,
  9. polythene,
  10. polythiazide

Origin of polytheism

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

Related formspol·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 polytheist

British Dictionary definitions for polytheist


/ (ˈpɒlɪθiːˌɪzəm, ˌpɒlɪˈθiːɪzəm) /


the worship of or belief in more than one god
Derived Formspolytheist, 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

Word Origin and History for polytheist
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for polytheist


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.