Meaning of totem

to•tem

Pronunciation: (tō'tum), [key]
— n.
  1. a natural object or an animate being, as an animal or bird, assumed as the emblem of a clan, family, or group.
  2. an object or natural phenomenon with which a family or sib considers itself closely related.
  3. a representation of such an object serving as the distinctive mark of the clan or group.
  4. anything serving as a distinctive, often venerated, emblem or symbol.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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