Definition of Cargo cult

1. Noun. (Melanesia) the followers of one of several millenarian cults that believe salvation will come in the form of wealth ('cargo') brought by westerners; some ascribe divine attributes to westerners on first contact (especially to missionaries).

Generic synonyms: Cult
Category relationships: Melanesia

2. Noun. A religious cult that anticipates a time of joy, serenity, and justice when salvation comes.
Generic synonyms: Cult, Cultus, Religious Cult

Definition of Cargo cult

1. Noun. Any of several unorthodox religious movements among the people of Melanesia based upon Western manufactured goods. ¹

2. Noun. (figuratively) Any of several philosophies or pseudosciences that are not rooted in experiment ¹

¹ Source:

Lexicographical Neighbors of Cargo Cult

cargo area
cargo bin
cargo bins
cargo container
cargo cult (current term)
cargo cults
cargo deck
cargo door
cargo hatch
cargo helicopter
cargo hold
cargo jack
cargo liner
cargo net
cargo pallet
cargo pants
cargo ship
cargo ships
cargo shorts

Literary usage of Cargo cult

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Asymmetric Marketing: Tossing the 'Chasm' in the Age of the Software Superpowers by Joseph E. Bentzel (2006)
""In the South Seas there is a cargo cult of people. During the war (WWII) they saw airplanes with lots of good materials, and they want the same thing to ..."

2. Development and the Information Age: Four Global Scenarios for the Future of by John Howkins, Robert Lyon Valantin (1997)
"cargo cult Resumptions • The global community is inclusive and supportive. • Most developing countries respond only partially and reactively to the ..."

3. The South Sea Islanders and the Queensland Labour Trade: A Record of Voyages by William T. Wawn (1893)
"... for example, it was noted that Ramu and Sepik Districts had received no stores whatever since December 1941 ••* cargo cult was widespread. ..."

4. What Holds Us Together: Social Cohesion in South Africa by David Chidester, Philip Dexter (2004)
"More specifically, she identifies global tourism, with its almost apocalyptic, cargo-cult promise of redemption for the South African economy, ..."

5. Planet Geographyby Stephen Codrington by Stephen Codrington (2005)
"When tourists bring gifts and novelties for local people, it can develop a 'cargo cult' attitude, or an expectation of gifts or chant}' whenever outsiders ..."

6. Regional Workshop on Solar Power Generation Using Photovoltaic Technology (1999)
"The "myth of electrification" has taken hold like a cargo cult. • To overcome barriers, and deliver a public service in the form of a high-tech household ..."

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