or San·te·ri·a

  1. (sometimes lowercase) a religion merging the worship of Yoruba deities with veneration of Roman Catholic saints: practiced in Cuba and spread to other parts of the Caribbean and to the U.S. by Cuban emigrés.

Origin of Santería

1980–85; < American Spanish, equivalent to santer(o) person practicing Santería (Spanish sant(o) saint + -ero < Latin -ārius -ary) +-ía -ia Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for santeria


  1. a Caribbean religion composed of elements from both traditional African religion and Roman Catholicism

Word Origin for Santeria

American Spanish, literally: holiness
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 santeria

Afro-Cuban religion, 1950, from Spanish, literally "holiness, sanctity."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper