Definition of fetish in English:

fetish

Syllabification: fet·ish
Pronunciation: /ˈfediSH
 
/

noun

1An inanimate object worshiped for its supposed magical powers or because it is considered to be inhabited by a spirit.
More example sentences
  • Lesser priests and priestesses serve the shrines of fetishes, minor spirits, and focus on cures and magic charms.
  • When his mother sold him to white men, she told him to thank and worship the fetishes, objects believed to have magical powers by primitive people, because they will make him happy.
  • Do I feel the thing that relics, totems, and fetishes are supposed to make people feel?
Synonyms
1.1A course of action to which one has an excessive and irrational commitment: he had a fetish for writing more opinions each year than any other justice
More example sentences
  • I love fighting big people and I always had a fetish for fighting big people.
  • He soon found out I had a fetish for chimneys and steeplejacks and his workshop were up a road with eight chimneys, like, and there were always someone mending one.
  • He was also an alcoholic drug abuser who had a fetish for firing guns at trespassers and blowing up high explosives for the fun of it.
1.2A form of sexual desire in which gratification is linked to an abnormal degree to a particular object, item of clothing, part of the body, etc. Victorian men developed fetishes focusing on feet, shoes, and boots
More example sentences
  • At times, customers visited the clubs seeking gratification of certain fetishes such as the desire to interact with a dominant woman or to experience public humiliation or pain.
  • I couldn't care less about his consensual, adult sexual fetishes.
  • No, we're referring to that twilight world of bizarre fetishes and sexual practices.
Synonyms
fixation, obsession, compulsion, mania; weakness, fancy, fascination, fad
informal thing, hang-up

Origin

early 17th century (originally denoting an object used by the peoples of West Africa as an amulet or charm): from French fétiche, from Portuguese feitiço 'charm, sorcery' (originally an adjective meaning 'made by art'), from Latin factitius (see factitious).

Derivatives

fetishism

Pronunciation: /-ˌizəm/
noun
More example sentences
  • There is no better cure for idolatry than the analysis of its causes and objects, no better cure for the fetishism of idolatry than its dispersed and ramified redistribution.
  • The play makes very clear use of economic theory in his exploration of commodity fetishism.
  • Rather, fetishism or animism is a set of ritual practices, stances, and attunements to the world, constituting the way we participate in capitalist existence.

fetishist

noun
More example sentences
  • For years, '60s-radical types, liberals, and universal-suffrage fetishists insisted that the voting age should be dropped from 21 to 18.
  • The current approach of the gun fetishists is to claim that this shooter isn't really a sniper, as if the ‘hobby’ of being a sniper is one that shouldn't have its good name sullied by associating it with such a loser.
  • The artist, whose work displays a strong aesthetic sense and a sharp wit, casts light on colonial values and lifestyles while also poking fun at fetishists who believe the fabrics to be of African origin.

fetishistic

Pronunciation: /ˌfetiˈSHistik/
adjective
More example sentences
  • Displacement of animals to European spaces plays itself out as a return of the very fetishistic worship that was condemned during earlier periods of contact.
  • Any love that focuses on a particular individual is idolatrous; and because idolatrous love is fetishistic and partial, it inevitably brings ambivalence and frustration.
  • As the author of our book is a 74-year-old white gentleman from the Old South, which of these fictional creations do you think will absorb his rapt, even obsessive, maybe fetishistic focus?

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Word of the day dissonant
Pronunciation: ˈdɪs(ə)nənt
adjective
lacking harmony