What does heathen mean?

Definitions for heathen
ˈhi ðənhea·then

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word heathen.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. heathen, pagan, gentile, infideladjective

    a person who does not acknowledge your god

  2. heathen, heathenish, pagan, ethnicadjective

    not acknowledging the God of Christianity and Judaism and Islam


  1. heathennoun

    A person who does not follow an Abrahamic religion; a pagan.

  2. heathennoun

    An uncultured or uncivilized person, philistine.

  3. heathennoun

    Self-designation of some adherents of neo-paganism.

  4. heathenadjective

    not adhering to an Abrahamic religion; pagan.

  5. heathenadjective

    uncultured; uncivilized; savage, philistine.

  6. heathenadjective

    pertaining to currents of Germanic neo-paganism known as Heathenry.

  7. Etymology: Germanic: from hǣþen, akin to heath on the moor, the poor, 'wild' countryside; cognate with Dutch heiden, German Heide.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Heathenadjective

    Gentile; pagan.

    It was impossible for a heathen author to relate these things, because, if he had believed them, he would no longer have been a heathen. Addison.

  2. HEATHENnoun

    The gentiles; the pagans; the nations unacquainted with the covenant of grace.

    Etymology: heyden, German.

    Deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name. 1 Chro. xvi. 35.

    If the opinions of others, whom we think well of, be a ground of assent, men have reason to be heathens in Japan, mahometans in Turkey, papists in Spain, and protestants in England. John Locke.

    In a paper of morality, I consider how I may recommend the particular virtues I treat of, by the precepts or examples of the ancient heathens. Joseph Addison, Spectator.


  1. heathen

    A heathen refers to an individual who does not belong to a widely held or major religion, particularly referring to a person who is not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim. It is often used to insinuate a lack of faith or belief in a monotheistic or any recognized god. It can sometimes carry a derogatory or judgmental sentiment, usually stemming from religious perspectives.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Heathen

    of Heathen

  2. Heathennoun

    an individual of the pagan or unbelieving nations, or those which worship idols and do not acknowledge the true God; a pagan; an idolater

  3. Heathennoun

    an irreligious person

  4. Heathenadjective

    gentile; pagan; as, a heathen author

  5. Heathenadjective

    barbarous; unenlightened; heathenish

  6. Heathenadjective

    irreligious; scoffing


  1. Heathen

    Heathen is the 22nd studio album by English rock musician David Bowie, released in 2002. It was considered a comeback for him in the US market; it was his highest charting album since Tonight, and earned some of his strongest reviews since Scary Monsters. Worldwide, it sold over two million copies and experienced a four-month run on the UK charts. Although its production had started before September 11 attacks in 2001, the album was finished after that date, which ended up influencing its concept.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Heathen

    hē′thn, n. an inhabitant of an unchristian country, one neither Christian, Jewish, nor Mohammedan: (B.) the Gentiles: a pagan: an irreligious person.—adj. pagan, irreligious.—n. Hea′thendom, the condition of a heathen: those regions of the world where heathenism prevails.—v.t. Hea′thenise, to make heathen or heathenish.—adj. Hea′thenish, relating to the heathen: rude: uncivilised: cruel.—adv. Hea′thenishly.—ns. Hea′thenishness; Hea′thenism, the religious system of the heathens: paganism: barbarism; Hea′thenry, heathenism: heathendom. [A.S. hǽðen, a heathen; Dut. heiden.]

Suggested Resources

  1. heathen

    Song lyrics by heathen -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by heathen on the Lyrics.com website.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Heathen

    Literally a dweller on a heath in the open country. The Romans applied the term to those who, having no communion with the dwellers in cities, were cut off from all knowledge of their complicated system of mythology. When Rome became converted to Christianity the untutored inhabitants of the country at large were the last to receive the Gospel. A heathen nation therefore, in a religious sense, is one far removed from civilisation, which offers a fruitful field for missionary work.

How to pronounce heathen?

How to say heathen in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of heathen in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of heathen in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of heathen in a Sentence

  1. Harriet Beecher Stowe:

    Nobody had ever instructed him that a slave-ship, with a procession of expectant sharks in its wake, is a missionary institution, by which closely-packed heathen are brought over to enjoy the light of the Gospel.

  2. George Eliot:

    It is, I fear, but a vain show of fulfilling the heathen precept, Know thyself, and too often leads to a self-estimate which will subsist in the absence of that fruit by which alone the quality of the tree is made evident.

  3. Najmaddin Faraj Ahmad:

    Whoever offends our religion and our honor, must understand that this is a conflict about life and death, the cartoonist has become a fighting heathen whom it is permissible to kill.

  4. Harriet Beecher Stowe:

    I would not attack the faith of a heathen without being sure I had a better one to put in its place.

  5. Carl Jung:

    The Christian missionary may preach the gospel to the poor naked heathen, but the spiritual heathen who populate Europe have as yet heard nothing of Christianity.

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Translations for heathen

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"heathen." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/heathen>.

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