Other forms: totems

A totem is an emblem or badge that features an animal or plant. Each totem represents a family, clan, or tribe. Do you come from a long line of fishermen? Perhaps your family’s totem is a trout.

Any group can have a totem, but the word totem is from the Algonquian (Native American) word odoodeman for "his family mark." Totems are pictures — usually on badges or emblems — of animals or plants that represent a group of people, especially an extended family or clan. A totem could be a grizzly bear, oak tree, catfish, or just about any other living thing. Like a flag, a totem means a lot to the people it represents.

Definitions of totem
  1. noun
    emblem consisting of an object such as an animal or plant; serves as the symbol of a family or clan (especially among American Indians)
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    type of:
    emblem, icon
    special design or visual object representing a quality, type, group, etc.
  2. noun
    a clan or tribe identified by their kinship to a common totemic object
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    type of:
    clan, kin, kin group, kindred, kinship group, tribe
    group of people related by blood or marriage
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