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Related to cultic: cultish, cultists


a. A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.
b. The followers of such a religion or sect.
2. A system or community of religious worship and ritual.
3. The formal means of expressing religious reverence; religious ceremony and ritual.
4. A usually nonscientific method or regimen claimed by its originator to have exclusive or exceptional power in curing a particular disease.
a. Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing.
b. The object of such devotion.
6. An exclusive group of persons sharing an esoteric, usually artistic or intellectual interest.

[Latin cultus, worship, from past participle of colere, to cultivate; see kwel- in Indo-European roots.]

cul′tic, cult′ish adj.
cult′ism n.
cult′ist n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Theology) of or relating to a religious cult
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
Third, will those churches move into the mainstream of evangelical Christianity and a deeper understanding of discipleship, or will they become increasingly cultic? Finally, will older Christian movements be able to move into positive relationships with such churches in order that each might learn from the other?
Her attempt to connect the material with the Temple and the ascent of the visionary with a priestly investiture is plausible and adds weight to the theory of the cultic setting of the apocalypses suggested by the fragments of the Songs of the suggested Sabbath Sacrifice.
Some would seat Mary on a throne next to God, and others would promote bizarre cultic practices in their hyperthyroid zeal.
The Song of Solomon has received various interpretations, the most common being allegorical, dramatic, cultic, or literal.
She attempts to prove that these moral polarities were connected to the couplings "left/crooked/circular" and "right/straight/rectilinear." She garners symbolic, cultic, archaeological, and architectural evidence to demonstrate that the evolution of sharply-divided gender spheres led to an association between, on the one hand, women, earth, underworld, nature, chaos, cycles and, on the other hand, men, sky, heaven, civilization, order, linear progress.
His topics include primogeniture in Greco-Roman society and in Jewish inheritance practices; the firstborn in the Jewish cultic setting; the firstborn son as self-perception of Israel; and primogeniture in Romans, Colossians, Hebrews, and Revelation.
This includes an examination of the difference between ritual and cult, where it is explained that cultic acts performed in the same order become a "ritual," and where the totality of the ceremonies carried out within the tomb chapels perforce became a ritual (p.
discerns from Greek cultic texts what he calls "the paradigm of the founder-figure," and then argues both that Paul conceived his missionary work within this paradigm (largely for apologetic reasons) and that his contemporaries would have perceived him in this context.
Temple building and temple cult; architecture and cultic paraphernalia of temples in the Levant (2.-1.
The author of these final chapters identifies with those who "tremble at the word of Yahweh" and are called Yahweh's servants; their opponents are the temple priesthood, who are accused of alien cultic practices.
A number of texts in the Hebrew Bible provide legislation regarding the cultic and domestic handling of blood.