Definition of heathen noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈhiːðn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhiːðn//
    (old-fashioned, offensive)
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  1. 1used by people who have a strong religious belief as a way of referring to a person who has no religion or who believes in a religion that is not one of the world’s main religions
  2. 2used to refer to a person who shows lack of education
  3. Word OriginOld English hǣthen, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch heiden and German Heide; generally regarded as a specifically Christian use of a Germanic adjective meaning ‘inhabiting open country’, from the base of heath.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: heathen

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