Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who is not a Christian, Muslim, or Jew, especially an adherent of a polytheistic religion in antiquity.
  • n. A Neo-Pagan.
  • n. Offensive One who has no religion.
  • n. Offensive A non-Christian.
  • n. A hedonist.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Relating to, characteristic of or adhering to non-Abrahamist religions, especially earlier polytheism.
  • adj. Savage, immoral, uncivilized, wild.
  • n. A person not adhering to any major or recognized religion, especially a heathen or non-Abrahamist, follower of a pantheistic or nature-worshipping religion, neopagan.
  • n. An uncivilized or unsocialized person
  • n. Especially an unruly, badly educated child.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to pagans; relating to the worship or the worshipers of false goods; heathen; idolatrous, .
  • n. One who worships false gods; an idolater; a heathen; one who is neither a Christian, a Mohammedan, nor a Jew.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who is not a Christian or a member of a Christian community; in a later narrower sense, one who does not worship the true God—that is, is not a Christian, a Jew, or a Mohammedan; a heathen. See the quotation from Trench; see also paynim.
  • n. A heathenish or ungodly person; in old slang, a prostitute.
  • n. Synonyms Heathen, etc. See gentile, n.
  • Pertaining to the worship or worshipers of any religion which is neither Christian, Jewish, nor Mohammedan; heathenish; irreligious.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. someone motivated by desires for sensual pleasures
  • n. a person who does not acknowledge your god
  • n. a person who follows a polytheistic or pre-Christian religion (not a Christian or Muslim or Jew)
  • adj. not acknowledging the God of Christianity and Judaism and Islam

Etymologies

Middle English, from Late Latin pāgānus, from Latin, country-dweller, civilian, from pāgus, country, rural district.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Recorded in English since c1375. From Latin pāgānus ("rural, rustic"), later "civilian". The meaning "not (Judeo-)Christian" arose in Vulgar Latin, probably from the 4th century. It is unclear whether this usage is derived primarily from the "rustic" or from the "civilian" meaning, which in Roman army jargon meant 'clumsy'. As a self-designation of neopagans attested since 1990. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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