from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A theory attributing the origin of the gods to the deification of historical heroes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A belief attributing the origins of the gods to the deification of heroes after their deaths.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The theory, held by Euhemerus, that the gods of mythology were but deified mortals, and their deeds only the amplification in imagination of human acts.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The doctrine that polytheistic mythology arose exclusively, or in the main, out of the deification of dead heroes; the system of mythological interpretation which reduces the gods to the level of distinguished men, and so regards the myths as founded on real histories; hence, the derivation of mythology from history.


After Euhemerus, fourth-century B.C. Greek philosopher.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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