noun, plural hea·thens, hea·then.
- heath hen,
- heath robinson,
- heath wren,
- heath, sir edward richard george,
Origin of heathen
Examples from the Web for heathen
They also argued that the Bible authorized slavery, and that the slaves were actually being rescued from heathen Africa.
Duff kept straight on in a spirit of caution, and just missed treading upon the fattest rat in the heathen parish of St. John's.The Path of a Star|Mrs. Everard Cotes (AKA Sara Jeannette Duncan)
That this divine name was well-known to the Heathen there can be no doubt.
To such straits are translators sometimes reduced in the use of heathen languages!Fetichism in West Africa|Robert Hamill Nassau
Kissing was also employed in the heathen worship as a religious rite.
Rodriguez went mad, and was flayed alive for refusing to worship a heathen god.The Message|Louis Tracy
noun plural -thens or -then
Word Origin for heathen
Old English hæðen "not Christian or Jewish," also as a noun, "heathen man" (especially of the Danes), merged with Old Norse heiðinn (adj.) "heathen, pagan."
Perhaps literally "pertaining to one inhabiting uncultivated land," from heath + -en (2). But historically assumed to be from Gothic haiþno "gentile, heathen woman," used by Ulfilas in the first translation of the Bible into a Germanic language (cf. Mark vii:26, for "Greek"); if so it could be a derivative of Gothic haiþi "dwelling on the heath," but this sense is not recorded. It may have been chosen on model of Latin paganus, with its root sense of "rural" (see pagan), or for resemblance to Greek ethne (see gentile), or it may be a literal borrowing of that Greek word, perhaps via Armenian hethanos [Sophus Bugge]. Like other basic words for exclusively Christian ideas (e.g. church) it likely would have come first into Gothic and then spread to other Germanic languages.