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

  • n. Archaic A non-Christian, especially a Muslim.
  • n. Archaic A pagan or heathen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A pagan or heathen, especially a Muslim or Jew.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • See painim.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Paganism; heathenism; heathendom; heathen lands collectively.
  • n. A pagan; a heathen.
  • Pagan; heathen.

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

  • n. a heathen; a person who is not a Christian (especially a Muslim)


Middle English painim, from Old French paienime, heathendom, from Late Latin pāgānismus, from pāgānus, pagan; see pagan.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman paienime, peinime et al., and Old French paienime, from Late Latin paganismus ("paganism"), from Latin paganus ("pagan"). (Wiktionary)


  • Kenneth felt as if, in those wildernesses the waste and dry places in which the foul spirits were wont to wander when expelled the mortals whose forms they possessed, a bare-footed friar would have been a better associate than the gay but unbelieving paynim.

    The Talisman

  • “Thanks to the Prophet that hath so far honoured our mountains as to send from their bosom him whose word is victory,” answered the paynim.

    The Talisman

  • They passed, like shadows, into the outer apartment, without disturbing the paynim Emir, who lay still buried in repose.

    The Talisman

  • “The anchorite whom I would now visit,” said the warlike pilgrim, “is, I have heard, no priest; but were he of that anointed and sacred order, I would prove with my good lance, against paynim and infidel —”

    The Talisman

  • “And for grudging it,” said Tomalin Blacklees, “why shouldst thou grudge the poor paynim devil a drop of drink on earth, since thou knowest he is not to have a drop to cool the tip of his tongue through a long eternity?”

    The Talisman

  • To Rudeger she spake: “Had I not heard that he were a paynim, gladly would I go whithersoever he listed and would take him to my husband.”

    The Nibelungenlied

  • This Christian champions did and paynim, too, according to their custom.

    The Nibelungenlied

  • Grendel's dog Lelaps was thinking of becoming a Muslim, but he found out that the paynim regard dogs as unclean animals.

    Review - Orphans Of Chaos, by John C. Wright

  • “Thou swearest thy gods in vain, foul paynim,” said


  • It was hard by her cottage that we saw our first mosque, which had begun by being a Gothic church, but had lost itself in paynim hands for centuries, in spite of the lamp always kept burning in it.

    Familiar Spanish Travels

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  • Singular. Also painim.

    September 14, 2009

  • This explains why, when I went to check the oubliette the other day, it was full of Muslims.

    But is paynim a plural or singular form?

    September 14, 2009

  • "Then the king was a tyrant, and was come of the line of paynims, and took them and put them in prison in a deep hole."
    - Thomas Malory, 'The Holy Grail'.

    September 14, 2009