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 formshea·then·ish·ly, adverbhea·then·ish·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for heathenish

Historical Examples of heathenish

  • And I might call it a heathenish dish, which no true Christian man could eat.

    Strife and Peace

    Fredrika Bremer

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

    Captain Cook

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • Do I believe that she is wild, unwomanly, heathenish, as Mrs. Danby says?

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

    Foma Gordyeff

    Maxim Gorky

  • It is so heathenish, as it were,—so unlike all the snugness of our modern civilization!

    The Marble Faun, Volume II.

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

British Dictionary definitions for heathenish



of, relating to, or resembling a heathen or heathen culture
Derived Formsheathenishly, adverbheathenishness, 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

Word Origin and History for heathenish

Old English hæðenisc; see heathen + -ish.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper