- a natural object or an animate being, as an animal or bird, assumed as the emblem of a clan, family, or group.
- an object or natural phenomenon with which a family or sib considers itself closely related.
- a representation of such an object serving as the distinctive mark of the clan or group.
- anything serving as a distinctive, often venerated, emblem or symbol.
Origin of totem
Related Words for totemicfamilial, tribal, affiliated, congenital, consanguine, consanguineous, hereditary, inborn, inbred, inherited, innate, maternal, old, past, paternal, genealogical, lineal, totemic
Examples from the Web for totemic
Contemporary Examples of totemic
Diversity is largely accepted and encouraged, but lacks the totemic significance assigned to it by boomer activists.The Myth of the Republican Party’s Inevitable Decline
April 17, 2012
Maybe it's the sheer volume of scandals on the landscape today, robbing any one of its totemic power to shock and dismay voters.Death of the Sex Scandal
Louise Roug Bokkenheuser
September 29, 2010
Offscreen, he is the Nascar set's totemic badass, the God-fearing patriot who walks the walk.Chuck Norris Turns 70
December 6, 2009
MOCA traditionally involves a totemic artist with these events.Lady Gaga and the Bolshoi?
November 11, 2009
Historical Examples of totemic
On these is a painted model of the totemic animals of the deceased.The Dance Festivals of the Alaskan Eskimo
Ernest William Hawkes
Then, just like the other totemic tribes, they feigned to be of the blood and lineage of the sun.Myth, Ritual, and Religion, Vol. 1
That our British ancestors possessed a totemic system is undoubted.The Myths of the North American Indians
But even in its beginnings the totemic age transcends these conditions.
Coincident with this development, totemic ideas and customs disappear.
- (in some societies, esp among North American Indians) an object, species of animal or plant, or natural phenomenon symbolizing a clan, family, etc, often having ritual associations
- a representation of such an object
Word Origin for totem
animal or natural object considered as the emblem of a family or clan, 1760, from Algonquian (probably Ojibwa) odoodeman "his sibling kin, his group or family," hence, "his family mark;" also attested in French c.1600 in form aoutem among the Micmacs or other Indians of Nova Scotia. Totem pole is 1808, in reference to west coast Canadian Indians.
An animal, plant, or other object in nature that has a special relationship to a person, family, or clan and serves as a sign for that person or group.
see low man on the totem pole.