What does animism mean?

Definitions for animism
ˈæn əˌmɪz əman·i·mism

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word animism.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. animism(noun)

    the doctrine that all natural objects and the universe itself have souls

    "animism is common among primitive peoples"


  1. animism(Noun)

    A belief that spirits inhabit some or all classes of natural objects or phenomena.

  2. animism(Noun)

    A belief that an immaterial force animates the universe.

  3. animism(Noun)

    A doctrine that animal life is produced by an immaterial spirit.

  4. Origin: from anima. Dated sense from Animismus, coined c. 1720 by physicist/chemist Georg Ernst Stahl (1660-1734) See anima mundi.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Animism(noun)

    the doctrine, taught by Stahl, that the soul is the proper principle of life and development in the body

  2. Animism(noun)

    the belief that inanimate objects and the phenomena of nature are endowed with personal life or a living soul; also, in an extended sense, the belief in the existence of soul or spirit apart from matter

  3. Origin: [Cf. F. animisme, fr. L. anima soul. See Animate.]


  1. Animism

    Animism is the religious worldview that natural physical entities—including animals, plants, and often even inanimate objects or phenomena—possess a spiritual essence. Specifically, animism is used in the anthropology of religion as a term for the religion of indigenous tribal peoples, especially prior to the development and/or infiltration of civilization and organized religion. Although each tribe is unique in its specific mythologies and rituals, "animism" often describes the most common, foundational thread of indigenous tribespeoples' spiritual or "supernatural" perspectives. Some members of the non-tribal world also consider themselves animists and not all peoples who describe themselves as tribal would describe themselves as animistic. The tribal animistic perspective is so fundamental, mundane, everyday and taken-for-granted that most animistic indigenous people do not even have a word in their languages that corresponds to "animism"; the term is an anthropological construct rather than one designated by tribespeople themselves. Largely due to such ethnolinguistic and cultural discrepancies, opinion has differed—ever since Sir Edward Tylor's 19th-century popularization of the term—on whether animism refers to a broadly religious belief or to a full-fledged religion in its own right.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Animism

    an′im-izm, n. a theory which regards the belief in separate spiritual existences as the germ of religious ideas. It is adopted by E. B. Tylor in his Primitive Culture as the minimum definition of religion, being considered to have arisen simply from the evidence of the senses, interpreted by the crude and child-like science of the savage: the theory of Stahl, which regarded the vital principle and the soul as identical.—n. An′imist.—adj. An′imistic. [L. anima, the soul.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Animism

    a belief that there is a psychical body within the physical body of a living being, correspondent with it in attributes, and that when the connection between them is dissolved by death the former lives on in a ghostly form; in other words, a belief of a ghost-soul existing conjointly with and subsisting apart from the body, its physical counterpart.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of animism in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of animism in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Images & Illustrations of animism

  1. animismanimismanimism

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"animism." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 23 Jan. 2019. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/animism>.

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