of, being, or relating to a natural object or animate being, as an animal or bird, assumed as the emblem of a clan, family, or group:Crocodiles are regarded as totemic animals in some parts of Africa, connected with a group's origin, ancestors, and place.
of, being, or relating to anything regarded as a distinctive or venerated emblem by a group or individual:I explained that the great horse trilogy, My Friend Flicka, was one of the most vivid and totemic elements of my childhood.This has been a totemic issue for their party over the years, literally a signature policy during the last election.
- sub·to·tem·ic, adjective
- to·tem·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use totemic in a sentence
The pair was tasked by COP26 president designate Alok Sharma with coming up with a plan to deliver the funds — an issue he has cast as “totemic.”Ahead of COP26 climate summit, world remains on a dangerous trajectory and financial pledges are falling short | William Booth, Amanda Coletta | October 25, 2021 | Washington Post
It’s a great album, charming and assured, and a near-totemic achievement for the 18-year-old woman who co-produced it and at least co-wrote all of its tracks.Taylor Swift’s new take on ‘Fearless’ piles on the nostalgia, along with some revenge | Allison Stewart | April 12, 2021 | Washington Post
Trebek’s performance hasn’t changed to combat the untruths of the last few years, in part because it already was a kind of totem to the value of fact.Remembering Alex Trebek, The Man With All The Answers | Oliver Roeder | November 9, 2020 | FiveThirtyEight
In an economy driven by consumer spending, Black Friday assumed totemic importance.Black Friday Doesn’t Matter: Every Day Is Cyber Monday | Daniel Gross | November 26, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 | Joel Kotkin | April 17, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
In an election year, these statistics assume even more totemic importance.March Jobs Data Proves the Crisis Is Over but Problems Remain | Zachary Karabell | April 6, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
Maybe it's the sheer volume of scandals on the landscape today, robbing any one of its totemic power to shock and dismay voters.
Offscreen, he is the Nascar set's totemic badass, the God-fearing patriot who walks the walk.
The utmost severity attached to the observation of totemic law and custom, to break which was regarded as a serious crime.The Myths of the North American Indians | Lewis Spence
Fetishism of the Zui description is, indeed, the natural concomitant of a totemic system.The Myths of the North American Indians | Lewis Spence
Some, covered with obscene totemic figures and designs, were carved from solid tree trunks forty or fifty feet in length.The Red One | Jack London
As will appear later, this is a characteristic feature of the transition from primitive to totemic culture.Elements of Folk Psychology | Wilhelm Wundt
Nevertheless, the imitation of animals in the dance already foreshadows the totemic period.Elements of Folk Psychology | Wilhelm Wundt