Definitions

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

  • n. An object that is believed to have magical or spiritual powers, especially such an object associated with animistic or shamanistic religious practices.
  • n. An object of unreasonably excessive attention or reverence: made a fetish of punctuality.
  • n. Something, such as a material object or a nonsexual part of the body, that arouses sexual desire and may become necessary for sexual gratification.
  • n. An abnormally obsessive preoccupation or attachment; a fixation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • See fetich, n., fetichism, n., fetichistic, a.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Any material object regarded with awe, as having mysterious powers residing in it or as being the representative or habitation of a deity to which worship may be paid, and from which supernatural aid is to be expected.
  • n. Hence An object of blind devotion; an idol: as, gold has become his fetish.
  • n. Same as fetish-man.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a charm superstitiously believed to embody magical powers
  • n. a form of sexual desire in which gratification depends to an abnormal degree on some object or item of clothing or part of the body
  • n. excessive or irrational devotion to some activity

Etymologies

French fétiche, from Portuguese feitiço, artificial, charm, from Latin factīcius, artificial; see factitious.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French fétiche, from Portuguese feitiço, from Latin factīcius ("artificial") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • ‡ Figuratively, a “fetish” is any object that arouses excessive devotion: “Lucille made a fetish of her Porsche.

    fetish

  • The word "fetish" comes from a Latin word, feticium, which means "idol".

    NewsBlaze.com Current News - Top Stories

  • I use the term fetish object in both an erotic sense, as well as to represent the small, carved figures used by the Zuni Indians to invoke attributes such as courage, honor, and wisdom.

    Cupcake interview with Sue Hogan of Unison Fetish

  • Eventually, people came to associate the word fetish uniquely with the religious art of pagan including Native American societies, but, in fact, it is the product of a Christian worldview.

    Come Hither

  • The observances of fetish-worship fade away into the customs and habits of everyday life by gradations, so that in some of the superstitious beliefs, while there may be no formal handling of a fetish amulet containing a spirit nor actual prayer nor sacrifice, nevertheless spiritism is the thought and is more or less consciously held, and consequently the term fetish might perhaps be extended to them.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 6: Fathers of the Church-Gregory XI

  • We coined the term fetish-burlesque as our genre of entertainment because of this.

    Interview: The Porcelain Twinz

  • The English word fetish can be traced back to the medieval Portuguese word fetich, which refers to religious relics believed to possess magical properties.

    Come Hither

  • Jackson said the global financial system was now near the point of collapse due to the obsession with growth, which he described as a "fetish for enormous proportions".

    The Guardian World News

  • So for those of you with a label fetish, maybe I'm a "post - Austrian Taoist".

    Mises Dailies

  • I think this fetish is much nastier than the one they have for Olbermann.

    Think Progress » Rush Limbaugh: ‘I love the women’s movement — especially when walking behind it.’

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Whenever she had been heavily fetishing and/or drugging she crashed her in his main office.

    - P.K. Dick, Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said.

    March 26, 2012