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Alternative formsEdit

  • fetich (dated [18th c.–present])


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


  • (UK, US) enPR: fĕtʹĭsh, fēʹtĭsh, IPA(key): /ˈfɛt.ɪʃ/, /ˈfiː.tɪʃ/
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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
    • 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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fetish m (plural fetishes)

  1. fetish
    • 1851, Eco literario de Europa: Primera sección. Revista universal, page 389:
      Al salir de su casa pasaba por la puerta un fetish con dos grandes serpientes.