heathen

[ hee-thuh n ]
/ ˈhi ðən /
Disparaging and Offensive.

noun, plural hea·thens, hea·then.

(in historical contexts) an individual of a people that do not acknowledge the God of the Bible; a person who is neither a Jew, Christian, nor Muslim; a pagan.
Informal. an irreligious, uncultured, or uncivilized person.

adjective

of or relating to heathens; pagan.
Informal. irreligious, uncultured, or uncivilized.

Origin of heathen

before 900; Middle English hethen, Old English hǣthen, akin to German Heide, heidnisch (adj.), Old Norse heithingi (noun), heithinn (adj.), Gothic haithno (noun); perhaps akin to heath
Related forms

Synonym study

See pagan.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for heathen

British Dictionary definitions for heathen

heathen

/ (ˈhiːðən) /

noun plural -thens or -then

a person who does not acknowledge the God of Christianity, Judaism, or Islam; pagan
an uncivilized or barbaric person
the heathen (functioning as plural) heathens collectively

adjective

irreligious; pagan
unenlightened; uncivilized; barbaric
of or relating to heathen peoples or their religious, moral, and other customs, practices, and beliefs
Derived Formsheathenism or heathenry, nounheathenness, noun

Word Origin for heathen

Old English hǣthen; related to Old Norse heithinn, Old Frisian hēthin, Old High German heidan
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