Definition of totem noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈtəʊtəm//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈtoʊtəm//
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an animal or other natural object that is chosen and respected as a special symbol of a community or family, especially among Native Americans; an image of this animal, etc. Word Originmid 18th cent.: from Ojibwa (an Algonquian language) nindoodem ‘my totem’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: totem

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