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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a cult hero (=someone who a particular group of people admire)
▪ He became a cult hero among surfers.
a cult movie (=one that a small group of people like very much and watch often)
▪ a showing of the cult movie ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’
personality cult
satanic ritual/cult/rite
▪ The children were abused as part of a satanic ritual.
▪ They have been linked to a religious cult, 330 of whose members died in a blaze last week.
▪ Kim created an impermeable and absolutist state that many have compared to a religious cult.
▪ The popularity of religious cult communities reveals the extent to which many people have turned their backs on the family.
▪ The Street has made mistakes, of course-that nutty religious cult being one of the worst.
▪ The daemons are closely linked with religious cult activity.
▪ A jogger who had brushed aside two evangelists from a religious cult had been pushed to the ground grazing his knee.
▪ Many early religious cults revolved around sexuality.
▪ One theory is it's linked to a Satanic cult.
▪ He often introduces himself to boomer types as the B-string lyricist for that perennial underground cult band, the Grateful Dead.
▪ Healing spas were based on a local cult figure and the devotees underwent rituals which included bathing and communal eating.
▪ I start by telling him that he's quite the cult figure here in Annapolis, and he looks stunned.
▪ He became a cult figure in which notions of salvation by innocent suffering have a place.
▪ Vanessa Nygaard is a cult figure waiting to happen, a gale-force personality blowing through Maples Pavilion.
▪ This, however, did not prevent him from becoming a cult figure among some of the Jacobins and other revolutionaries.
▪ He is loved to the point of becoming a cult figure.
▪ Deborah Warner has become a cult figure for stark and emotive work.
▪ Brad Pitt in the cult film Fight Club was a fraudulent soap salesman.
▪ Something of a cult hero to modern limestone climbers, or so I understand.
▪ La Norte, it would seem, is a bit of a cult hero among her work colleagues.
▪ Only two have so far been identified: one of the cult leaders and the manager of the church farm.
▪ The bloody siege of the ranch complex in Waco has already left at least six police and cult members dead.
▪ Four federal agents and perhaps up to 15 cult members died.
▪ His only hope is Case Hardin, a female ex-drug addict and cult member.
▪ Propping up the world's most enduring dictator is a slavish personality cult, and rigid control of the nation.
▪ But at no time is this conditioning of mild hysteria and personality cult a wholesome thing.
▪ However, Nyerere was said to be personally opposed to this kind of personality cult, and eventually the policy was changed.
▪ It was also a result of the growth of the press, which delighted in personality cults.
▪ I don't agree with people who say it was just a leadership personality cult effort.
▪ Mr Koizumi is the centre of a virtual personality cult in his homeland, with support ratings of almost 90 %.
▪ The Sicilian tyrants did not, however, take the personality cult as far as the successors of Alexander.
▪ Miranda Seymour's lucid biography arrives as the general reader's guide to Mary Shelley's ascent to academic cult status.
▪ This is basically salon music, but the playing elevates it to cult status.
▪ International rugby has cult status and when things get that popular, it's who you know, not what you are.
▪ True, the movie enjoyed a brief cult status.
▪ Among design graduates, this has translated into a near cult status.
▪ Yet, Kane gradually began to achieve cult status among critics.
▪ By the start of the Eighties, he was beginning to transcend his cult status.
▪ There are two other villas with unusual features which could possibly be associated with pagan cults.
▪ Carmelite churches are not infrequently associated with the cult of the Black Virgin.
▪ He became a cult figure in which notions of salvation by innocent suffering have a place.
▪ What keeps extraordinary groups from becoming cults?
▪ The puppets which first appeared in the sixties became cult viewing when the programmes were recently repeated.
▪ Pelevin has chosen the fantastic as a suitable analogue, and become a cult literary bad-boy.
▪ This, however, did not prevent him from becoming a cult figure among some of the Jacobins and other revolutionaries.
▪ He is loved to the point of becoming a cult figure.
▪ Deborah Warner has become a cult figure for stark and emotive work.
▪ A spokesman denied the group is a cult and said members could leave whenever they wanted.
▪ Diet, therapy, exercise... It's all part of the cult of self-improvement.
▪ Dozens of religious cults have appeared in the US, most making a fortune for their leaders.
▪ Members of the cult are not allowed to marry or own property without permission.
▪ Two members of a religious cult have been linked to the recent murders.
▪ Carmelite churches are not infrequently associated with the cult of the Black Virgin.
▪ He is loved to the point of becoming a cult figure.
▪ In pagan cults there were two Kinds of sacrifices.
▪ In the Hellenistic and Roman periods mystery religions and cults spread through the ancient world.
▪ Many would say that a cult is considerably less than a minority.
▪ The cult of the dead at the tomb was a strictly religious function.
▪ Yevtushenko was no longer the cult figure he had been when he came to Britain at the association's invitation in 1962.
▪ Alex Garland's cult novel 'The Beach' was later made into a film starring Leonardo di Caprio.
▪ Frankie Knuckles is a cult figure in dance music.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Cult \Cult\ (k[u^]lt) n. [F. culte, L. cultus care, culture, fr. colere to cultivate. Cf. Cultus.]

  1. Attentive care; homage; worship.

    Every one is convinced of the reality of a better self, and of the cult or homage which is due to it.

  2. A system of religious belief and worship.

    That which was the religion of Moses is the ceremonial or cult of the religion of Christ.

  3. A system of intense religious veneration of a particular person, idea, or object, especially one considered spurious or irrational by traditional religious bodies; as, the Moonie cult.

  4. The group of individuals who adhere to a cult (senses 2 or 3).

  5. A strong devotion or interest in a particular person, idea or thing without religious associations, or the people holding such an interest; as, the cult of James Dean; the cult of personality in totalitarian societies.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1610s, "worship," also "a particular form of worship," from French culte (17c.), from Latin cultus "care, labor; cultivation, culture; worship, reverence," originally "tended, cultivated," past participle of colere "to till" (see colony). Rare after 17c.; revived mid-19c. with reference to ancient or primitive rituals. Meaning "a devotion to a person or thing" is from 1829.\n\nCult. An organized group of people, religious or not, with whom you disagree. [Rawson]


a. 1 Of, or relating to a cult. 2 Enjoyed by a small, loyal group. n. 1 (lb en offensive derogatory) A group of people with a religious, philosophical or cultural identity sometimes viewed as a sect, often existing on the margins of society or exploitative towards its members. 2 devotion to a saint. 3 (lb en informal) A group of people having an obsession with or intense admiration for a particular activity, idea, person or thing.

  1. n. adherents of an exclusive system of religious beliefs and practices

  2. an interest followed with exaggerated zeal; "he always follows the latest fads"; "it was all the rage that season" [syn: fad, craze, furor, furore, rage]

  3. a system of religious beliefs and rituals; "devoted to the cultus of the Blessed Virgin" [syn: cultus, religious cult]

Cult (religious practice)

Cult is literally the "care" (Latin cultus) owed to God or gods and to temples, shrines, or churches. Cult is embodied in ritual and ceremony. Its present or former presence is made concrete in temples, shrines and churches, and cult images, including cult images and votive offerings at votive sites.

In the specific context of the Greek hero cult, Carla Antonaccio wrote,

Cult (disambiguation)

A cult is a religious or social group with socially deviant or novel beliefs and practices.

Cult or cults may also refer to:

Cult (Apocalyptica album)

Cult is the title of the third full-length LP by the band Apocalyptica released in 2000 with a special-edition released in 2001 containing an extra disc, mixed and mastered at Finnvox. Although seen as the third album, it is actually Apocalyptica's first album as Cult contains majority original material as opposed to their previous releases which were compilations. Here, Apocalyptica also started using distortion effects much more boldly and frequently. There are some versions of the first release with "Path Vol. 2" as the first track and "Path" as the fourteenth. This is the last Apocalyptica album to feature Max Lilja on cello. The song "Hope Vol.2" has a music video which features scenes from the film Vidocq.

Cult (TV channel)

Cult (formerly CNI - Cult Network Italia) is an Italian entertainment TV channel that broadcasts on channel 319 in the Sky Italia satellite television network.

Following its launch in 1998 Cult Network Italia was twice named Best Thematic Cultural Arts Channel in Europe at the Annual European Satellite Awards.

Cult (TV series)

Cult is an American television series created by Rockne S. O'Bannon that ran on The CW from February 19 to July 12, 2013 and originally aired on Tuesdays at 9:00 pm Eastern/8:00 pm Central. The series centers on a journalist blogger and a production assistant, who investigate a series of mysterious disappearances that are linked to a popular television series named Cult.

On February 27, 2013, The CW announced that starting March 8 Cult would air on Fridays at 9:00 pm Eastern/8:00 pm Central. On April 10, 2013, Cult was canceled and removed from the schedule. The CW began airing the six remaining episodes on June 28, 2013.

Cult (film)

is a 2013 Japanese horror found footage film written and directed by Kôji Shiraishi about the supernatural malevolent forces haunting the Kaneda family. It was released in Japan on July 20, 2013.

Cult (Bayside album)

Cult is the sixth studio album by American rock band Bayside released on February 18, 2014 on Hopeless Records in North America. In 2015, it was rereleased with a white cover and 4 bonus tracks.

Cult (book)

Cult: Leadership & Business Strategy: Ruthlessly Redefined is a management book written by management guru Arindam Chaudhuri and strategy professor A. Sandeep. The book was launched by Guy Kawasaki, former Chief Evangelist at Apple Inc. and current member, Board of Trustees at the Wikimedia Foundation, in December 2011 at an event in London attended by political and business leaders, and reached the top 10 business bestsellers list in India.

The book deals with lessons for CEOs in running transnational corporations. The book is divided into two parts. The first part addresses leadership issues that CEOs face while running global corporations. The second part addresses business strategy issues that CEOs of very large corporations have to face.

Guy Kawasaki commented on the book, “I have read the book and Steve Jobs would love this book, he truly would. This book is in the same quality of Malcolm Gladwell, Geoffrey Moore & Clayton Christensen." Marshall Goldsmith said Cult provides "a view on vision you won’t find anywhere."

Usage examples of "cult".

I had a feeling that I had passed through this abusive cult for a reason.

From her own experience, she has become aware that there are many women like herself who leave the Family and fall into similarly controlling and abusive situations, which tend to perpetuate the experiences that they had while in the cult.

As he had already performed the pilgrimage to Rome, he knew every person in Ancona devoted to the cult of Saint-Francis, and was acquainted with the superiors of all the rich convents.

At that period I still went about and was able to continue performing in person my duties as high pontiff and as Arval Brother, and to celebrate myself the ancient rites of this Roman religion which, in the end, I prefer to most of the foreign cults.

The cult of Mithra, less widespread then than it has become since our expedition in Parthia, won me over temporarily by the rigors of its stark asceticism, which drew taut the bowstring of the will, and by its obsession with death, blood, and iron, which elevated the routine harshness of our military lives to the level of a symbol of universal struggle.

Instead they were busy surrounding with a classically retrograde cult of personality a certain mathematics professor, neither charismatic nor even personable, named Weed Atman, who had ambled into celebrity.

Faith told investigators that Ayers and his officers had discovered a member of a New York Satanic cult was in town, planning another terrorist attack.

Toward midnight when Miss Azimuth was finished, the Cult of Loving Kindness broke its camp.

Later, a daughter library, the Serapeion, housed in the temple of Serapis, a new Graeco-Egyptian cult, which may have been based on Hades, the Greek god of the dead, held another 40,000 scrolls.

Whereas, he thinks, Protestantism has died, or is dying, as a religion, it still exists as a mood, as bibliolatry, as a national and political cult, as a scientific and technical motive-power, and, last but not least, as the ethos and pathos of the Germanic peoples.

And yet, despite all thisthe binational bureaucratic cult, the old-style corporatism that survived the passage from war to peace, the mystique of nonaccountability symbolized by the sovereign, the stunted aspects of the new imperial democracyMacArthur was quite accurate when he spoke of a society that had undergone significant change.

Queron as well as Joram and Evaine, under circumstances that had nothing to do with the cult of Saint Camber now being so rigorously suppressed in the outside world.

Too, he preaches celibacy, so that he has become an icon of the cessant cults.

It came to me that I might find Jolly, and that I might take him back to Kavasphir only to find that our home, Temple Huacho, had been lost: fallen to ruins at the hands of some cessant cult, or washed away by the silver, and all that we loved in this world gone.

The fireball Chicano lawyer was on his way to becoming a half-successful writer, a cult figure of sorts -- then a fugitive, a freak, and finally either a permanently missing person or an undiscovered corpse.