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

[Middle English painim, from Old French paienime, heathendom, from Late Latin pāgānismus, from pāgānus, pagan; see pagan.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Ecclesiastical Terms) a heathen or pagan
2. (Ecclesiastical Terms) a Muslim
[C13: from Old French paienime, from Late Latin pāgānismus paganism, from pāgānus pagan]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈpeɪ nɪm)

n. Archaic.
1. a pagan or heathen.
2. Muslim.
[1200–50; Middle English: pagan (n. and adj.), pagan countries, heathendom < Old French pai(e)nime < Late Latin pāgānismus paganism]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.paynim - a heathen; a person who is not a Christian (especially a Muslim)
Mohammedanism, Muhammadanism, Muslimism, Islam, Islamism - the monotheistic religious system of Muslims founded in Arabia in the 7th century and based on the teachings of Muhammad as laid down in the Koran; "Islam is a complete way of life, not a Sunday religion"; "the term Muhammadanism is offensive to Muslims who believe that Allah, not Muhammad, founded their religion"
gentile, heathen, infidel, pagan - a person who does not acknowledge your god
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Twines not of them one golden thread, But for its sake a Paynim bled.'
Such forces met not, nor so wide a camp, When Agrican, with all his northern powers, Besieged Albracea, as romances tell, The city of Gallaphrone, from thence to win The fairest of her sex, Angelica, His daughter, sought by many prowest knights, Both Paynim and the peers of Charlemane.
"He is in hiding somewhere, for he knew well, black paynim as he is, that our horses' four legs could outstrip his two."
The Assistant Commissioner laughed a little; but the great man's thoughts seemed to have wandered far away, perhaps to the questions of his country's domestic policy, the battle-ground of his crusading valour against the paynim Cheeseman.
His dark eyes and swarthy skin and Paynim features suited the costume exactly: he looked the very model of an Eastern emir, an agent or a victim of the bowstring.
And backward roll'd the paynim flood--for this, with listless eye, The west beheld her bleeding bound, yet passed her coldly by.
Spenser similarly envisages a war with infidels where Gloriana will help the British confront the Saracens" (297): "And Bryton fields with Sarazin blood bedyde, / Twixt that great faery Queene and Paynim king" (I.xi.7.3-4).
(17) There is a sense in which it is the poem's characters themselves who insist on the binary framework--the poem takes its title from the Muslim narrator's discursive othering of one whom he knew not and loathed, (18) and the Giaour ironically recommends his crime to the Caloyer Abbot on the basis of his victim's "paynim spleen" (1038-42)--and thus the possibility that the dichotomy within which the poem is locked is itself symptomatic of the intercultural violence that imperial work entails.
/ In paynim toyes the sweetest vaines are spent: / To Christian workes, few have their talents lent" ("The Author to the Reader" ll.
The scenes that prompt strong responses--one that scares the speaker and one she longs to have found--are defined by that absence of people: first, the grave that bears no trace of the "poor prophet paynim" it once held; then, the Nativity's "family with pets," the single image of realized human connection in the poem, noted because not seen.
The Paynim sailors clustering, tawny skinned, Cried 'Who is he that comes to Christian slaves?
In Book V canto viii, Artegall and Arthur are reunited when they rescue the damsel Samient from a pair of paynim knights.