the attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion.
Grammar. the merging, as by historical change in a language, of two or more categories in a specified environment into one, as, in nonstandard English, the use of was with both singular and plural subjects, while in standard English was is used with singular subjects (except for you in the second person singular) and were with plural subjects.
Origin of syncretism
1610–20; < New Latinsyncretismus < Greeksynkrētismós union of Cretans, i.e., a united front of two opposing parties against a common foe, derivative of synkrēt(ízein) to syncretize + -ismos-ism
"reconciliation of different beliefs," 1610s, from Modern Latin syncretismus (David Pareus, 1615), from Greek synkretismos "union of communities," from synkretizein "to combine against a common enemy," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + second element of uncertain origin. One theory connects it with kretismos "lying," from kretizein "to lie like a Cretan;" another connects it with the stem of kerannynai "to mix, blend;" krasis "mixture."