Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Combining disparate elements in one system, especially as in forms of religious observance, philosophical systems, or artistic creations.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Uniting and blending together different systems, as of philosophy, morals, or religion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to syncretism; characterized by syncretism; uniting, or attempting to unite, different systems, as of philosophy or religion. See syncretism.
  • n. A syncretist.

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

  • adj. relating to a historical tendency for a language to reduce its use of inflections
  • adj. of or characterized by syncretism

Etymologies

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  • "Theologically, the larger 'syncretic,' or hybrid, religions—Vodou, Candomblé, and Santeria—are defined by the use of the Catholic saints as a cover for a pantheon of African-derived deities. But it is the collective practice of these religions that concerns us, and this was, and remains, Dionysian, if we understand that word in the most ancient religious sense. These are ecstatic, danced religions, in which music and the muscular synchrony of dance are employed to induce a state of trance interpreted as possession by, or transcendent unity with, a god."
    —Barbara Ehrenreich, Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006), 169

    March 16, 2009

  • syncretic \sin-KRET-ik; sing-\, adjective:
    Uniting and blending together different systems, as of philosophy, morals, or religion.

    December 15, 2006