Definition of syncretism in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsiNGkrəˌtizəm/


1The amalgamation or attempted amalgamation of different religions, cultures, or schools of thought.
Example sentences
  • If multiculturalism means syncretism, then religious conservatives of all faiths will certainly opt out.
  • The marriage prohibition consequently played into the concern over intermarriage as a source of religious syncretism and idolatry.
  • Speaking of which, in terms of religious syncretism it is interesting to see how frequently quantum uncertainty is starting to pop up in discussions about religion.
2 Linguistics The merging of different inflectional varieties of a word during the development of a language.
Example sentences
  • This is not the final word on problems with syncretism; there are many more that I don't have the space or the insight to point out here.
  • A good framework for morphology would cover the whole territory, rather than carving out one small portion of the territory for a special Missing Form treatment, admitting syncretism everywhere else.
  • In the current literature, instances of syncretism are being increasingly cited to support particular models of morphology and feature structure.



Pronunciation: /siNGˈkretik/
Example sentences
  • The result is a further syncretization of an already syncretic form, but one which is capable of having strong musical, political, and cultural resonances in Aotearoa.
  • Kingston is at times unsure whether these practices are ‘Buddhism’ or something more syncretic: ‘Chinese religion.’
  • Actually, this is a whole lot like what I just described in terms of cognitive dissonance and syncretic religions.


noun& adjective
Example sentences
  • Up to now I'd been thinking that I needed to rediscover a more syncretist Christianity, allowing freedom of sacred expression and lifestyle.
  • Many Nicaraguans, especially in rural areas, practice a syncretist form of religion that combines indigenous religious beliefs with Catholicism.
  • The tree of Paganism invites both purists and syncretists to rest under its leafy canopy.


Pronunciation: /ˌsiNGkrəˈtistik/
Example sentences
  • Their priesthood and sanctuary were judged illegitimate, their text of the Torah corrupt, and their cult syncretistic - contaminated by the paganism of their Mesopotamian conquerors.
  • These exogamous marriages introduced the possibility of idolatry and syncretistic practices into the community.
  • But the Church of Rome is itself syncretistic - a structure in which elements of pagan culture, superstition and naturalistic religion have taken root over the ages.


Early 17th century: from modern Latin syncretismus, from Greek sunkrētismos, from sunkrētizein 'unite against a third party', from sun- 'together' + krēs 'Cretan' (originally with reference to ancient Cretan communities).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: syn·cre·tism

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