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 heathendom
This is the heathendom of art, in which feeling is all, authority nothing; in which rules are only suspected, not created.From the Oak to the Olive|Julia Ward Howe
How many times the Church has decanted the new wine of Christianity into the old bottles of heathendom.The Book of Hallowe'en|Ruth Edna Kelley
According to Dorner, heathendom longed for the apotheosis of human nature.
Heathendom had grown to a monster which, like the decrepit Saturn, devoured its own offspring.Darkness and Dawn|Frederic W. Farrar
Of the false religion which these Indians held in their heathendom; and of their superstitions and omens.The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 - Volume 40 of 55|Francisco Colin
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.