infidel

[ in-fi-dl, -del ]
/ ˈɪn fɪ dl, -ˌdɛl /

noun

adjective

Origin of infidel

1425–75; late Middle English < Late Latin infidēlis “unbelieving,” Latin: “unfaithful, treacherous.” See in-3, feal

Synonym study

1–3. See agnostic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for infidel

infidel

/ (ˈɪnfɪdəl) /

noun

a person who has no religious belief; unbeliever

adjective

rejecting a specific religion, esp Christianity or Islam
of, characteristic of, or relating to unbelievers or unbelief

Word Origin for infidel

C15: from Medieval Latin infidēlis, from Latin (adj): unfaithful, from in- 1 + fidēlis faithful; see feal
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 infidel

infidel


mid-15c. (adjective and noun), from Middle French infidèle, from Latin infidelis "unfaithful, not to be trusted," later "unbelieving," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + fidelis "faithful" (see fidelity). In 15c. "a non-Christian" (especially a Saracen); later "one who does not believe in religion" (1520s). Also used to translate Arabic qafir, which is from a root meaning "to disbelieve, to deny," strictly referring to all non-Muslims but virtually synonymous with "Christian;" hence, from a Muslim or Jewish point of view, "a Christian" (1530s; see kaffir).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper