The Meaning of Cult: What It Is and How To Use It

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Lots of people love to watch documentaries about cults. Some people even enjoy cult classic films. But what is the definition of cult? 

This article will define the word cult and provide you with a plethora of additional information about it. In addition, you will learn how to use cult in a sentence, translations of cult, synonyms and antonyms of cult, and more!

What Does Cult Mean?

According to Dictionary, a cult refers to a system of religious beliefs whose ceremonies and beliefs are often extreme. While the word cult often refers to a religious sect or system of religious worship, it can also refer to a thing, person, or idea that many admirers revere.

Other noun forms of cult invoice cultist and cultism, and the adjective form of cult is cultic or cultish. Sometimes, the word cult itself is an adjective. The pronunciation of cult is kʌlt.

How Can We Use Cult in a Sentence?

You might hear the word cult in various sentences to refer to an extreme religion or something with a devout following. However, someone might get offended if you imply that their religion is a cult, so be careful when using this word and think carefully. 

The below example sentences contain this word of the day. Once you have examined these sentences, see if you can think of new ways to use the word cult on your own. 

Example #1: The Formation of a Cult

The religious organization started as a small group of people who wanted to study the Bible but quickly turned into a mysterious, dangerous cult following with extremist beliefs.

Example #2: The Leader of the Cult

The charismatic leader led a small group of devout followers, which many believed was a religious cult. He assured the public this was not the case, but all evidence pointed to the contrary.

Example #3: The Satanic Cult

They accused the Satanic cult’s cult leader of brainwashing and centering himself as the object of such devotion. Thankfully, the FBI got involved and broke up the cult before anyone got hurt.

Example #4: The Cult Film

The particular group of fans of the cult film organized screenings in New York once a month so everyone could get together to watch the movie. 

Example #5: Avoiding a Cult

While everyone thought they could avoid the extremist craze of the new religious movements, many people fell victim and became cult members anyway.

What Is the Etymology of Cult?

The word cult entered the English language in the early 1600s and came from the Latin cultus. This Latin word stems from the Latin colore, meaning to inhabit or worship. 

What Are Translations of Cult?

Unfortunately, many people around the world are involved in cult activity. Therefore, the word cult has translations in many worldwide languages.

To learn how to say the word cult in a variety of worldwide languages, you can use this list of translations of cult from Nice Translator. Even still, you should be careful not to offend someone by calling something a cult in another language.

  • Portuguese (Brazil): culto
  • Serbian: култ
  • Welsh: cwlt
  • Tamil: வழிபாட்டு
  • Amharic: ኑ
  • Romanian: cult
  • Icelandic: sértrúarsöfnuður
  • Kannada: ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ
  • Hebrew: כת
  • Estonian: kultus
  • Indonesian: kultus
  • Filipino: kulto
  • Turkish: kült
  • Chinese (PRC): 邪教
  • Czech: kult
  • Malay: kultus
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 邪教
  • Japanese: カルト
  • Marathi: पंथ
  • Swedish: kult
  • Croatian: kult
  • Lithuanian: kultas
  • Vietnamese: sùng bái
  • French: culte
  • Russian: культ
  • Gujarati: અભ્યાસ
  • Spanish: culto
  • Swahili: ibada
  • Urdu: فرقہ
  • Arabic: طائفة دينية
  • Ukrainian: культ
  • Catalan: culte
  • Dutch: sekte
  • Danish: kult
  • Slovak: kultový
  • Korean: 숭배
  • Basque: kultu
  • Portuguese (Portugal): culto
  • Latvian: kults
  • Finnish: kultti
  • Thai: ลัทธิ
  • Polish: kult
  • Telugu: కల్ట్
  • Italian: culto
  • Bengali: কাল্ট
  • Bulgarian: култ
  • Malayalam: ആരാധന
  • Greek: λατρεία
  • German: Kult
  • Hindi: पंथ
  • Slovenian: kult
  • Hungarian: kultusz
  • Norwegian: kult

What Are Synonyms of Cult?

The word cult has a strongly religious and negative connotation. Suppose you are looking for a word with a similar definition to cult without the negative and religious undertones. 

In that case, you can use one of the below synonyms of cult from Power Thesaurus. Learning synonyms of cult can also help you grow your vocabulary. 

  • admiration
  • adoration
  • belief
  • body
  • church
  • clan
  • clique
  • communion
  • craze
  • crazes
  • credo
  • creed
  • cultic
  • cultus
  • denomination
  • denominations
  • devotion
  • doctrine
  • faction
  • fad
  • fads
  • faith
  • faith community
  • fandom
  • following
  • furor
  • furore
  • group
  • mania for
  • movement
  • obsession with
  • order
  • passion for
  • persuasion
  • rage
  • religion
  • religious cult
  • religious group
  • religious order
  • reverence
  • ritual
  • school
  • sect
  • sects
  • spiritual-mindedness
  • veneration
  • veneration of
  • worship
  • worship of
  • worshiping

What Are Antonyms of Cult?

Power Thesaurus also provides several opposites of the word cult. If you are looking to describe a lack of a system of beliefs or something that isn’t religious, you can use one of these antonyms of cult. 

  • agnosticism
  • apostasy
  • atheism
  • blasphemy
  • defection
  • disbelief
  • discredit
  • dissent
  • dissidence
  • doubt
  • dubiety
  • faithlessness
  • freethinking
  • godlessness
  • heathenism
  • heresies
  • heresy
  • heterodoxy
  • iconoclasm
  • idolatry
  • impiety
  • incredulity
  • incredulousness
  • infidelity
  • irreligion
  • irreverence
  • lack of faith
  • nihilism
  • non-belief
  • non-theism
  • nonbelief
  • nonconformity
  • pagan religion
  • paganism
  • reinterpretation
  • rejection
  • revisionism
  • sacrilege
  • sectarianism
  • secularism
  • sinfulness
  • skepticism
  • spiritual apathy
  • unbelief
  • unbelievingness
  • unfaith
  • ungodliness
  • unholiness
  • unorthodoxy


The term cult refers to a religious worship system that is extreme. Often, people use the word cult to refer to religions with devout followers and extreme beliefs. However, cult can also be used as an adjective to refer to something that is cult-like. 

While the word cult usually has religious connotations, it can also refer to a film with a devout following, like The Rocky Horror Picture Show.


Cult Synonyms | Power Thesaurus 

Cult Antonyms | Power Thesaurus 

Cult | Nice Translator 

Cult Definition & Meaning |