- among some peoples, an animal or natural object considered as being ancestrally related to a given kin or descent group and taken as its symbol
- an image of this
- a symbol, esp. one held in high regard
Origin of totem; from an Algonquian language: compare Ojibwa nindoodeem, my totem
- a. An animal, plant, or natural object serving among certain tribal or traditional peoples as the emblem of a clan or family and sometimes revered as its founder, ancestor, or guardian.b. A representation of such an object.c. A social group having a common affiliation to such an object.
- A venerated emblem or symbol: “grew up with the totems and taboos typical of an Irish Catholic kid in Boston” (Connie Paige).
Origin of totemOjibwa nindoodem, my totem.
from Ojibwe (o)doodem(an)