euhemerism [yoo-hee-muh-riz-uh m, -hem-uh-] ExamplesWord Origin noun

  1. (often initial capital letter) the theory of Euhemerus that the mythologies of various gods arose out of the deification of dead heroes.
  2. the theory that mythology is derived from history.

Origin of euhemerism First recorded in 1840–50; Euhemer(us) + -ism Related formseu·he·mer·ist, nouneu·he·mer·is·tic, adjectiveeu·he·mer·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb Examples from the Web for euhemerism Historical Examples of euhemerism

  • In the philosophy of Mr. Herbert Spencer we find a pure Euhemerism.

    Myth, Ritual, and Religion, Vol. 1

    Andrew Lang

  • The Euhemerism of this is hardly like the wonder-loving Jones.

    British Goblins

    Wirt Sikes

  • This rationalizing method of interpretation is known as Euhemerism.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 9, Slice 8


  • In suggesting this view, we are not opening the door to Euhemerism.

    Myths and Myth-Makers

    John Fiske

  • Deification and euhemerism are equally natural to the Chinese.

    Hinduism and Buddhism, An Historical Sketch, Vol. 3 (of 3)

    Charles Eliot

  • British Dictionary definitions for euhemerism euhemerism noun

    1. the theory that gods arose out of the deification of historical heroes
    2. any interpretation of myths that derives the gods from outstanding men and seeks the source of mythology in history

    Derived Formseuhemerist, nouneuhemeristic, adjectiveeuhemeristically, adverbWord Origin for euhemerism C19: named after Euhemerus (?300 bc), Greek philosopher who propounded this theory Word Origin and History for euhemerism n.

    1846, “the method of regarding myths as glorified accounts of actual events or persons,” from Euhemerus of Sicily (4c. B.C.E.), who wrote “Iera Anagraphe,” in which he maintained the Greek deities actually were historical mortals. His name is literally “good day,” from eu “well” (see eu-) + hemera “day” (see ephemera). Related: Euhemerist; euhemeristic.

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