- a pole or post carved and painted with totems, often erected in front of their dwellings by Indian tribes of the NW coast of North America
Origin of totem polefrom the typical vertical arrangement of images on a totem pole any hierarchical system: at the top of the state's educational totem pole
totem poletotem pole
- A post carved and painted with a series of family or clan crests or with figures representing mythic beings and erected usually before a dwelling, as among certain Native American peoples of the northwest coast of North America.
- Slang A hierarchy: low on the totem pole.
totem poles (center) and house posts (far left and far right) at Stanley Park