American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An object that is believed to have magical or spiritual powers, especially such an object associated with animistic or shamanistic religious practices.
- n. An object of unreasonably excessive attention or reverence: made a fetish of punctuality.
- n. Something, such as a material object or a nonsexual part of the body, that arouses sexual desire and may become necessary for sexual gratification.
- n. An abnormally obsessive preoccupation or attachment; a fixation.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Any material object regarded with awe, as having mysterious powers residing in it or as being the representative or habitation of a deity to which worship may be paid, and from which supernatural aid is to be expected. A fetish may be an animal, as a cock, a serpent, a bear, etc., or an inanimate object, as a tree, a river, a stone, a tooth, a shell, a shaving, etc. The worship of fetishes belongs to a low and brutish stage or form of religion.
- n. Hence An object of blind devotion; an idol: as, gold has become his fetish.
- n. Same as fetish-man.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. a charm superstitiously believed to embody magical powers
- n. a form of sexual desire in which gratification depends to an abnormal degree on some object or item of clothing or part of the body
- n. excessive or irrational devotion to some activity
- From French fétiche, from Portuguese feitiço, from Latin factīcius ("artificial") (Wiktionary)
- French fétiche, from Portuguese feitiço, artificial, charm, from Latin factīcius, artificial; see factitious. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“ Figuratively, a fetish is any object that arouses excessive devotion: Lucille made a fetish of her Porsche.”
“The word "fetish" comes from a Latin word, feticium, which means "idol".”
“I use the term fetish object in both an erotic sense, as well as to represent the small, carved figures used by the Zuni Indians to invoke attributes such as courage, honor, and wisdom.”
“Eventually, people came to associate the word fetish uniquely with the religious art of pagan including Native American societies, but, in fact, it is the product of a Christian worldview.”
“The observances of fetish-worship fade away into the customs and habits of everyday life by gradations, so that in some of the superstitious beliefs, while there may be no formal handling of a fetish amulet containing a spirit nor actual prayer nor sacrifice, nevertheless spiritism is the thought and is more or less consciously held, and consequently the term fetish might perhaps be extended to them.”
“We coined the term fetish-burlesque as our genre of entertainment because of this.”
“The English word fetish can be traced back to the medieval Portuguese word fetich, which refers to religious relics believed to possess magical properties.”
“Jackson said the global financial system was now near the point of collapse due to the obsession with growth, which he described as a "fetish for enormous proportions".”
“So for those of you with a label fetish, maybe I'm a "post - Austrian Taoist".”
“I think this fetish is much nastier than the one they have for Olbermann.”
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