Variant of heathen
- in the Old Testament, a member of any nation or people not worshiping the God of Israel
- anyone not a Jew, Christian, or Muslim; esp., a member of a tribe, nation, etc. worshiping many gods
- a person regarded as irreligious, uncivilized, unenlightened, etc.
Origin: ME hethen < OE hæthen < hæth, heath; like Goth haithnō, gentile (woman) < haithi, heath (hence lit., “heath dweller”) a loan transl. used by Ulfilas for LL(Ec) paganus (see pagan), taken in its L sense, “a countryman, rustic” < pagus, the country
- of or characteristic of heathens; pagan
- irreligious, uncivilized, etc.
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