heathen vs heathenish what difference

what is difference between heathen and heathenish



From Middle English hethen, from Old English hǣþen, from Proto-West Germanic *haiþin, from Proto-Germanic *haiþinaz (heathen, pagan, adj), equivalent to heath (heathland) +‎ -en. Cognate with West Frisian heiden, Dutch heiden, Middle High German heiden, German Heiden, Heide, Swedish heden, Icelandic heiðinn. See also Proto-Germanic *haiduz, Old Norse heiðr (honour, bright, moor), Icelandic heiður (honour).


  • IPA(key): /ˈhiːðən/
  • Rhymes: -iːðən


heathen (not comparable)

  1. Not adhering to Christian religion (though usually excluding the Jews); pagan.
  2. (by extension) Uncultured; uncivilized; savage, philistine.
  3. Alternative letter-case form of Heathen (pertaining or adhering to the Germanic neo-pagan faith Heathenry).



heathen (plural heathens or heathen)

  1. A person who does not follow a Christian religion; a pagan.
    • V. Knox
      If it is no more than a moral discourse, he may preach it and they may hear it, and yet both continue unconverted heathens.
    • 1930, H. E. Bolton, Anza’s California expeditions (volume 1, page 403)
      On hearing his cries two heathen who were hunting on the lagoon ran up, and they were bold enough to try to avenge the injury, making ready to shoot arrows at the soldiers, who fired two gunshots just to frighten them []
  2. (by extension) An uncultured or uncivilized person, philistine.
  3. Alternative letter-case form of Heathen (an adherent of the Germanic neo-pagan faith of Heathenry).

Coordinate terms

  • (religionists) religionist; Baha’i,‎ Buddhist,‎ Christian,‎ deist,‎ Druid,‎ Eckist,‎ heathen,‎ Hindu,‎ Jain,‎ Jedi,‎ Jew,‎ Mormon,‎ Mormonist,‎ Muslim,‎ Odinist,‎ pagan,‎ Pastafarian,‎ Rastafarian,‎ Raëlian,‎ Shintoist,‎ Sikh,‎ Taoist,‎ Unitarian Universalist,‎ Yazidi,‎ Wiccan,‎ Zoroastrian (Category: en:Religion) [edit]

Derived terms

Further reading

  • heathen on Wikipedia.Wikipedia




heathen +‎ -ish


heathenish (comparative more heathenish, superlative most heathenish)

  1. Somewhat like a heathen.

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