Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state of being heathen.
  • n. From one religion's or creed's perspective, the rest of the world that does not follow that creed or religion.
  • n. Specifically, the non-Christian world; territories where Christianity is not the dominant religion.
  • n. The worldwide community that follows Heathenry, a modern pagan faith inspired by the pre-Christian religions of Germanic tribes, Anglo-Saxons and Norse peoples.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That part of the world where heathenism prevails; the heathen nations, considered collectively.
  • n. Heathenism.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state or condition of a heathen; heathenism.
  • n. Those parts of the world in which heathenism prevails: opposed to Christendom.
  • n. Heathen nations or peoples regarded collectively.

Etymologies

Compound of heathen plus -dom, as it were continuing Old English hǣðendōm, although the Old English word appears to have died out in Middle English, and heathendom was coined anew after Christendom around 1850. OED records a single attestation in the period between 1230 and 1840, a (nonce?) occurrence in J. Law, Proposals and reasons for constituting a council of trade in Scotland (1701, p. 233). Otherwise replaced by heathenism in the 17th and 18th centuries. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The story was written about 1250 to illustrate the transition from heathendom to the

    The Nibelungenlied

  • U.S. presidential candidates, regardless of their heathendom, know they have to feign interest in religion to get elected, and typically hire consultants to coach them in the finer points of Christian doctrine, such as which half of the Bible the New Testament is found in.

    Once the real work is over

  • Behind me was heathendom and the black fever flats.

    Prester John

  • He was introduced by the captain himself, a notably pious man, who spoke of the labours of his brother in the dark places of heathendom.

    Prester John

  • The nunnery flourished for more than a century, when, in the time of Penda, who was the reactionary of heathendom, it fell into decay.

    The Lair of the White Worm

  • The chant sounded as raw as the air, "- honored ancestors, great souls, Honored ancestors, great souls -" over and over, rite of a heathendom that the Tao and the Buddha had barely touched.

    The Boat of a Million Years

  • The chant sounded as raw as the air, "-honored ancestors, great souls, Honored ancestors, great souls-" over and over, rite of a heathendom that the Tao and the Buddha had barely touched.

    The Boat of a Million Years

  • Are not the very converts from heathendom putting some of us to shame?

    The Kneeling Christian

  • Tobias symbolized the powers of darkness, heathendom, and sin striving against the coming of salvation, and also Anna's long barrenness.

    The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary

  • If the original settlers had succumbed to the temptations of assimilation, they would have been submerged in the black heathendom of Africa.

    FURTHER STATEMENT IN THE AD HOC POLITICAL COMMITTEE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

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