from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.
- n. The followers of such a religion or sect.
- n. A system or community of religious worship and ritual.
- n. The formal means of expressing religious reverence; religious ceremony and ritual.
- n. A usually nonscientific method or regimen claimed by its originator to have exclusive or exceptional power in curing a particular disease.
- n. Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing.
- n. The object of such devotion.
- n. An exclusive group of persons sharing an esoteric, usually artistic or intellectual interest.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A group of people with a religious, philosophical or cultural identity sometimes viewed as a sect, often existing on the margins of society or exploitative towards its members.
- n. Devotion to a saint.
- adj. Of, or relating to a cult.
- adj. Enjoyed by a small, loyal group.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Attentive care; homage; worship.
- n. A system of religious belief and worship.
- n. A system of intense religious veneration of a particular person, idea, or object, especially one considered spurious or irrational by traditional religious bodies.
- n. The group of individuals who adhere to a cult (senses 2 or 3).
- n. A strong devotion or interest in a particular person, idea or thing without religious associations, or the people holding such an interest.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Homage; worship; by extension, devoted attention to or veneration for a particular person or thing: as, the Shaksperian cult.
- n. A system of religious belief and worship; especially, the rites and ceremonies employed in worship. Also cultus.
- n. A subject of devoted attention or study; that in which one is earnestly or absorbingly interested.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. followers of an exclusive system of religious beliefs and practices
- n. followers of an unorthodox, extremist, or false religion or sect who often live outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader
- n. a system of religious beliefs and rituals
- n. a religion or sect that is generally considered to be unorthodox, extremist, or false
- n. an interest followed with exaggerated zeal
Latin cultus, worship, from past participle of colere, to cultivate; see kwel-1 in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French culte, from Latin cultus ("care, adoration; cult"), from colō ("cultivate; protect"). (Wiktionary)