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n. pl. hea·thens or heathen
1. Offensive
a. An adherent of a religion that does not worship the God of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam.
b. Such persons considered as a group.
2. Heathen An adherent of a Neopagan religion that seeks to revive the religious beliefs and practices of the ancient Germanic peoples.
3. Informal
a. One who is regarded as irreligious, uncivilized, or unenlightened.
b. Such persons considered as a group.

[Middle English hethen, from Old English hǣthen; see kaito- in Indo-European roots.]

hea′then adj.
hea′then·dom, hea′then·ism, hea′then·ry n.
hea′then·ish adj.


(Alternative Belief Systems) heathen lands, peoples, or beliefs
References in classic literature ?
The nunnery flourished for more than a century, when, in the time of Penda, who was the reactionary of heathendom, it fell into decay.
It is well known how the monks wrote silly lives of Catholic Saints over the manuscripts on which the classical works of ancient heathendom had been written.
Wherefore, I am minded to put the Great Carbuncle on shipboard, and voyage with it to England, France, Spain, Italy, or into Heathendom, if Providence should send me thither, and, in a word, dispose of the gem to the best bidder among the potentates of the earth, that he may place it among his crown jewels.
In all heathendom, is there No man that she loves, no man Whom she would want to marry?
retracing my step Back downtown from the city of Heathendom I met a
Among the spoil of the city (which was not so great as they expected, as many things were hidden in the hills of the interior), was found the tooth of Buddum (Lord Buddha), which our Historians said by a manifest error was (that) of a monkey, and which was one of the most sacred objects of worship in the heathendom of the South and Tartary, as we said in the first Book, being the one which Tribule Pandar (Vidye Bandara) carried from the city of Cota; and when they informed D.
While the earliest missionaries approached China with the charge of rescuing her citizens from heathendom, the twentieth-century missionaries focused on uplifting the downtrodden, regenerating the human spirit, and introducing Christian conscience to protest social injustices (74).
The whole world was divided into two poles which the Christians named as Christandom and Heathendom while the Muslim named it "House of Islam (Dar-ul- Islam) and House of War (Dar-ul-Harb)".
Lectures on the Origin and Growth of Religion as illustrated by Celtic Heathendom.
6) See Johannes Wameck, The Livmg Christ and Dying Heathenism: The Experiences of a Missionary in Animistic Heathendom, tr.