from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An animal, plant, or natural object serving among certain tribal or traditional peoples as the emblem of a clan or family and sometimes revered as its founder, ancestor, or guardian.
- n. A representation of such an object.
- n. A social group having a common affiliation to such an object.
- n. A venerated emblem or symbol: "grew up with the totems and taboos typical of an Irish Catholic kid in Boston” ( Connie Paige).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any natural object or living creature that serves as an emblem of a tribe, clan or family.
- n. The representation of such object or creature.
- n. The clan whose kinship is defined in reference to such an object or creature.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A rude picture, as of a bird, beast, or the like, used by the North American Indians as a symbolic designation, as of a family or a clan; also, the object or animal itself, considered as an symbol of the family.
- n. Anything which serves as a venerated or mystic symbol or emblem.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Among the Indians of North America, a natural object, usually an animal, assumed as the token or emblem of a clan or family, and a representation of which served as a cognizance for each member of it; hence, a more or less similar observance and usage among other uncivilized peoples. See totemism.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. emblem consisting of an object such as an animal or plant; serves as the symbol of a family or clan (especially among American Indians)
- n. a clan or tribe identified by their kinship to a common totemic object
Ojibwa nindoodem, my totem.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
from Ojibwe (o)doodem(an) (Wiktionary)