Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A cult, especially a religious one.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Established or accepted religious rites or customs of worship; state of religious development.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Bad, worthless; no good.
  • n. Established or accepted religious rites or usages of worship; state of religious development. Cf. cult, 2.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Worthless.
  • n. A system of religious belief and worship: same as cult, 2.
  • n. The moral or esthetic state or condition of a particular time or place.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a system of religious beliefs and rituals

Etymologies

Latin, veneration; see cult.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin, cultivation, culture. See cult. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • And of that opinion, the external signs appearing in the words and actions of men are called worship; which is one part of that which the Latins understand by the word cultus: for cultus signifieth properly, and constantly, that labour which a man bestows on anything with a purpose to make benefit by it.

    Leviathan, or, The matter, forme, & power of a common-wealth ecclesiasticall and civill

  • She was never formally canonized but her cultus was approved by Pope Leo XIII.

    04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003

  • Apparently through all traditional time their cultus has been the rudest and most primitive form of nature-worship, the attaching of

    Unbeaten Tracks in Japan

  • The head of the cultus is the head of the whole; the high priest takes the place of the king.

    Prolegomena

  • His cultus was the bond between Him and the nation; when therefore it was desired to draw the bond still closer, the solemn services of religion were redoubled.

    Prolegomena

  • The cultus is the heathen element in the Israelite religion -- the word heathen not being understood, of course, in an ignoble or unworthy sense.

    Prolegomena

  • To be merry, to eat and drink before Jehovah, is a usual form of speech down to the period of Deuteronomy; even Ezekiel calls the cultus on the high places an eating upon the mountains

    Prolegomena

  • But the inward thoughts of men, which appear outwardly in their words and actions, are the signs of our honouring, and these go by the name of worship; in Latin, cultus.

    Leviathan, or, The matter, forme, & power of a common-wealth ecclesiasticall and civill

  • Despite the increasing favour of the the "cultus" of images among their people, the Frankish bishops continued their opposition to the Second Nicene Council; the latter, however, eventually gained recognition especially after a new and somewhat more accurate version of its acts and decrees was made by

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 3: Brownson-Clairvaux

  • He reminded the king that twelve of his bishops had taken part in a Roman Synod (previous to the Second Nicene Council) and had approved the "cultus" of images; he refuted a number of the arguments and objections brought forward, and asserted the identity of his teaching with that of the highly-respected Pope Gregory the Great concerning images.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 3: Brownson-Clairvaux

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  • In the Chinook Jargon, cultus means bad or worthless. "Oh, he is a cultus sort of fellow. I would steer clear of him if I were you."

    June 15, 2007