Aniconism is the absence of material representations (icons) of both the natural and supernatural worlds in various cultures, particularly in the monotheistic Abrahamic religions. This prohibition of material representations may extend from only God and deities to saint characters, all living beings, and everything that exists. The phenomenon is generally codified by religious traditions and as such it becomes a taboo. When enforced by the physical destruction of images, aniconism becomes iconoclasm. The word itself derives from Greek εικων 'image' with the negative prefix an- (Greek privative alpha) and the suffix -ism (Greek -ισμος).