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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Even after a thousand years or more, evidence of pagan beliefs is still widespread in churches.
▪ This ritual suggests the pagan belief in the baptism by blood rather than water as being more binding.
▪ They still clung to many of their old pagan beliefs and practices.
▪ It is a testimony to the fundamental nature of pagan beliefs and practices that they have survived centuries of persecution.
▪ The rest are more like the pagan gods - supermen and super women.
▪ Maurice and his legion, Gereon and his soldiers reftised to worship pagan gods before battle.
▪ Note the little half-moon windows and the niches with their statues of pagan gods.
▪ Justin was martyred along with five other men and a woman for reftising to worship pagan gods.
▪ When missionaries first reached Santa's native Lapland, they found a thriving pagan myth of reindeer flight.
▪ Rape is a staple in pagan myth, and killing still more commonplace.
▪ Stone monuments from tenth and eleventh century Northumbria sometimes contain scenes from pagan myth and legend.
▪ Even in translation, strange to say, pagan myth is little-read today.
▪ This, together with the re-emergence of pagan myth in general, fostered the full sunshine of the High Renaissance.
▪ Namely, the inevitable decline of pagan myth.
▪ Ovid the Augustan outcast opened up a silvery perspective of pagan myth for succeeding generations to enjoy.
▪ They generally symbolize pagan religion and particularly the presence of a goddess and priestesses.
▪ They eventually succeeded in reversing the roles of the pagan religions and their own by taking the offensive.
▪ There are also churches built on pagan sites which have standing stones in the churchyard.
▪ And I read that many cathedrals were built on ancient pagan sites, which in turn were built over underground streams.
▪ Some were no doubt replacements for periodic meetings at pagan sites or in cemeteries with crosses.
▪ The first church here is believed to have been built in the fifth-century on the site of a pagan temple to Apollo.
▪ From 326 onwards pagan temples began to suffer the gradual loss of old endowments.
pagan Germanic tribes
▪ ancient pagan beliefs and rituals
▪ From 326 onwards pagan temples began to suffer the gradual loss of old endowments.
▪ He found himself before the emperor a second time, after torching a pagan idol; his punishment was a severe flogging.
▪ Justin was martyred along with five other men and a woman for reftising to worship pagan gods.
▪ Not only in its primitive and pagan aspects, but also in sacred and scientific form.
▪ The spruce branch fell to the floor and the ivy wound itself around her neck like some pagan wreath.
▪ This ritual suggests the pagan belief in the baptism by blood rather than water as being more binding.
▪ We could do the sort of like, I was just thinking, weird pagan things.
▪ Within a generation or two aristocratic Christians were pursuing the same interests as their pagan ancestors.
▪ According to legend, Eurosia was a maiden of noble birth, who was promised to a pagan.
▪ But he could also be dismayed if Christians were heard by pagans to be talking nonsense about nature.
▪ He also learned that Christians could be as evil as pagans.
▪ It was a standard sequence of conquest, and not confined to pagans.
▪ Like converted pagans, they were reluctant to give up their old gods.
▪ They are so virtuous that one can hardly call them pagans at all.
▪ Virtuous pagans, however, were quite another matter.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Pagan \Pa"gan\, a. [L. paganus of or pertaining to the country, pagan. See Pagan, n.] Of or pertaining to pagans; relating to the worship or the worshipers of false goods; heathen; idolatrous, as, pagan tribes or superstitions.

And all the rites of pagan honor paid.


Pagan \Pa"gan\ (p[=a]"gan), n. [L. paganus a countryman, peasant, villager, a pagan, fr. paganus of or pertaining to the country, rustic, also, pagan, fr. pagus a district, canton, the country, perh. orig., a district with fixed boundaries: cf. pangere to fasten. Cf. Painim, Peasant, and Pact, also Heathen.] One who worships false gods; an idolater; a heathen; one who is neither a Christian, a Mohammedan, nor a Jew.

Neither having the accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man.

Syn: Gentile; heathen; idolater.

Usage: Pagan, Gentile, Heathen. Gentile was applied to the other nations of the earth as distinguished from the Jews. Pagan was the name given to idolaters in the early Christian church, because the villagers, being most remote from the centers of instruction, remained for a long time unconverted. Heathen has the same origin. Pagan is now more properly applied to rude and uncivilized idolaters, while heathen embraces all who practice idolatry.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., from Late Latin paganus "pagan," in classical Latin "villager, rustic; civilian, non-combatant" noun use of adjective meaning "of the country, of a village," from pagus "country people; province, rural district," originally "district limited by markers," thus related to pangere "to fix, fasten," from PIE root *pag- "to fix" (see pact). As an adjective from early 15c.\n

\nReligious sense is often said to derive from conservative rural adherence to the old gods after the Christianization of Roman towns and cities; but the word in this sense predates that period in Church history, and it is more likely derived from the use of paganus in Roman military jargon for "civilian, incompetent soldier," which Christians (Tertullian, c.202; Augustine) picked up with the military imagery of the early Church (such as milites "soldier of Christ," etc.). Applied to modern pantheists and nature-worshippers from 1908.\n

\nThe English surname Paine, Payne, etc., appears by old records to be from Latin paganus, but whether in the sense "villager," "rustic," or "heathen" is disputed. It also was a common Christian name in 13c., "and was, no doubt, given without any thought of its meaning" ["Dictionary of English Surnames"].


a. 1 Relating to, characteristic of or adhering to non-Abrahamist religions, especially earlier polytheism. 2 (context by extension pejorative English) savage, immoral, uncivilized, wild. n. 1 A person not adhering to any major or recognized religion, especially a heathen or non-Abrahamist, follower of a pantheistic or nature-worshipping religion, neopagan. 2 (context by extension English) (''perjoritive, politically incorrect'') An uncivilized or unsocialized person 3 (''perjoritive, politically incorrect'') Especially an unruly, badly educated child.


adj. not acknowledging the God of Christianity and Judaism and Islam [syn: heathen, heathenish, ethnic]


n. a person who does not acknowledge your God [syn: heathen, gentile, infidel]

Pagan (disambiguation)

Pagan may refer to

Pagan may also refer to:

Pagan (album)

Pagan is the fourth studio album by the Irish Celtic metal band Cruachan released in 2004.

Pagan (island)

Pagan is a volcanic island in the Mariana Islands archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, belonging to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Formerly inhabited, the inhabitants were evacuated due to volcanic eruptions in 1981.

Usage examples of "pagan".

If Mary of Bethany were really a pagan priestess, why was she anointing Jesus?

Pagan nations have not known any institution so depraving as Auricular Confession!

The overall structure, with its retaining walls, cloisters, massive pillars, and courtyards within courtyards, covering thirty-six acres, was virtually a carbon copy of the First Temple, which is to say, ironically, it was an ancient and thoroughly pagan Phoenician or Canaanite design.

It might have been taken across wastes by caravans, forged into pagan funeral-masks, plundered from fallen citadels, buried in secret hoards, dug up by thieves, seized by pirates, made into jewels, and coined into specie of diverse realms.

The feast day of purgatory observed by papal Rome corresponds to the Lemuria celebrated by pagan Rome, and rests on the same doctrinal basis.

Their mutual inquiries produced the amazing discovery, that two centuries were almost elapsed since Jamblichus and his friends had escaped from the rage of a Pagan tyrant.

It was at this moment that sunlight coming through the big window painted Bret and the machine that encaged him gold, so that he looked like the statue of a remote, wrinkled and pagan god.

The Escapist was laid, lashed and manacled, in the paths of threshing machines, pagan juggernauts, tidal waves, and swarms of giant prehistoric bees revived by the evil science of the Iron Chain.

Pagans were reluctantly indulged in the exercise of their superstition, the rank of Julian would have excepted him from the general toleration.

Little Russian feasting customs are probably pagan in origin, but have received a curious Christian interpretation.

At the moment when a ball struck on the scaffold of the Fontaine des Innocents Jean Goujon who had found the Pagan chisel of Phidias, Ronsard discovered the lyre of Pindar and founded, aided by his pleiad, the great French lyric school.

Prophet Mohammed had been, but Mohammed, blessings and peace be upon him, had been the most honorable of men, and had fought a good and honorable fight against pagan idolaters, while his own effort was mainly within the community of Faithful.

Gorm was a pagan, and a wooden burial chamber was built in a huge mound at Jelling as a double grave, doubtless for him and his wife.

And it is not to be recovered in this sense again that, while we are certainly jollier than the pagans, and much more right than the pagans, there is not one of us who can, by the utmost stretch of energy, be so sensible as the pagans.

Even my old mother, the Dowager Khatun Sorghaktani, who long ago converted to that faith, is still so besotted with it that she harangues me and every other pagan she meets.