The heathen
Heathen Hea"then (h[=e]"[th]'n; 277), n.; pl. {Heathens} (-[th]'nz) or collectively {Heathen}. [OE. hethen, AS. h[=ae][eth]en, prop. an adj. fr. h[=ae][eth] heath, and orig., therefore, one who lives in the country or on the heaths and in the woods (cf. pagan, fr. pagus village); akin to OS. h[=e][eth]in, adj., D. heiden a heathen, G. heide, OHG. heidan, Icel. hei[eth]inn, adj., Sw. heden, Goth. hai[thorn]n[=o], n. fem. See {Heath}, and cf. {Hoiden}.] 1. An individual of the pagan or unbelieving nations, or those which worship idols and do not acknowledge the true God; a pagan; an idolater. [1913 Webster]

2. An irreligious person. [1913 Webster]

If it is no more than a moral discourse, he may preach it and they may hear it, and yet both continue unconverted heathens. --V. Knox. [1913 Webster]

{The heathen}, as the term is used in the Scriptures, all people except the Jews; now used of all people except Christians, Jews, and Mohammedans. [1913 Webster]

Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance. --Ps. ii. 8.

Syn: Pagan; gentile. See {Pagan}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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