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Alternative formsEdit

  • fetich (dated [18th c.–present])

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from French fétiche, from Portuguese feitiço, from Latin factīcius (artificial). Doublet of factitious.

PronunciationEdit

  • (UK, US) enPR: fĕtʹĭsh, fēʹtĭsh, IPA(key): /ˈfɛt.ɪʃ/, /ˈfiː.tɪʃ/
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NounEdit

fetish (plural fetishes)

  1. Something which is believed to possess, contain, or cause spiritual or magical powers; an amulet or a talisman. [from the early 17th c.]
  2. Sexual attraction to or arousal at something sexual or nonsexual, such as an object or a part of the body. [from the early 19th c.]
    • 1985, Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale:
      The first time, I was confused. His needs were obscure to me, and what I could perceive of them seemed to me ridiculous, laughable, like a fetish for lace-up shoes.
    I know a guy who has a foot fetish.
    a fetish for leather
  3. (US) An irrational, or abnormal fixation or preoccupation; an obsession. [from the 19th c.]
    a fetish for deficit reduction
    • 1912 February–July, Edgar Rice Burroughs, “Under the Moons of Mars”, in The All-Story, New York, N.Y.: Frank A. Munsey Co., OCLC 17392886; republished as “On the Arizona Hills”, in A Princess of Mars, Chicago, Ill.: A[lexander] C[aldwell] McClurg & Co., 1917, OCLC 419578288, page 6:
      However, I am not prone to sensitiveness, and the following of a sense of duty, wherever it may lead, has always been a kind of fetich with me throughout my life; which may account for the honors bestowed upon me by three republics and the decorations and friendships of an old and powerful emperor and several lesser kings, in whose service my sword has been red many a time.
    • 1933, George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London (Harvest / Harcourt paperback edition), chapter XXII, page 117:
      We have a feeling that it must be "honest" work, because it is hard and disagreeable, and we have made a sort of fetish of manual work.

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