The earliest use of the term was in Christian theology, in reference to the "Mythic Theory" of D. F. Strauss (1835). The more general sense appears from the 1870s.
- (theology) the scholarly opinion that the gospels are mythologically expansions of historical data
- the habitual practice of attributing everything to mythological causes; superstition, the opposite of rationalism, or of realism
- 1911 "The Californias were an inaccessible and mysterious Occident, invested in the imagination of most mankind with almost Babylonian mythicism." (R. G. Badger, Don Sagasto's daughter)
- the creative potential for the creation of mythology; the faculty of mythopoeia
- 1971 "Individual works are all potential myths, but it is their collective adoption that actualises - if such should be the case - their 'mythicism'." (Levi-Strauss)
- 1998 "the playful animal familiars of the heroine [in Disney's Pocahontas] are real animals, because this is real mythicism, not pure imagination." (Ziauddin Sardar, Postmodernism and the other: the new imperialism of Western culture, p. 89)
- the view that a certain figure is unhistorical or mythical, chiefly in the context of pseudo-scholarship or conspiracy theories.
- (in particular) the opinion that Jesus of Nazareth did not exist in any way whatsoever