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[hee-th uh-nish] /ˈhi ðə nɪʃ/
of or relating to heathens:
heathenish practices of idolatry.
like or befitting heathens; barbarous.
Origin of heathenish
before 900; Old English hǣthenisc. See heathen, -ish1
Related forms
heathenishly, adverb
heathenishness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for heathenish
Historical Examples
  • The negro had followed him, and now stood with his eyes upon the dying flames, muttering to himself some heathenish charm.

    Audrey Mary Johnston
  • He was supposed, by this, to be engaged in the performance of some heathenish incantation.

    Captain Cook W.H.G. Kingston
  • Dachsel and Wachsel, however, were making a heathenish racket.

  • And if this heathenish leaven is going to rise in him I'll have to struggle hard with him!

    Foma Gordyeff Maxim Gorky
  • There's some heathenish nonsense about their having to die in the daylight so they can see their way to the spirit land.

    The Lost Wagon James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • He had been taxed, said Popham, by the world with the defence of most heathenish Popham's Exhortation.

    Sir Walter Ralegh William Stebbing
  • The restored Bourbons remade it into a church; but it still has a heathenish look, and will never lose it.

  • They are a rough, heathenish set of fellows, these Milton men of yours.'

    North and South Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
  • Schoolboys fought over again in the schoolyards the battles with the heathenish names.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • "Uncircumcision" embraced all that was heathenish, outcast and unclean.

British Dictionary definitions for heathenish


of, relating to, or resembling a heathen or heathen culture
Derived Forms
heathenishly, adverb
heathenishness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for heathenish

Old English hæðenisc; see heathen + -ish.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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