One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person who has no religion or whose religion is not that of the majority.‘a crusade against infidels and heretics’
unbeliever, disbeliever, non-believer, heathen, pagan, idolater, idolatress, heretic, agnostic, atheist, non-theist, nihilist, apostate, freethinker, libertine, dissenter, nonconformistView synonyms
- ‘Churches were running out of room, and infidels begged the religious community to pray to their God to save them.’
- ‘He meant, I imagined, that they were sacrilegious infidels.’
- ‘So it was not only the scoffing of infidels which spread the conviction that the religious life of France needed comprehensive reform.’
- ‘Particular emphasis is placed on not recognizing the holy days or national observances of the infidels.’
- ‘It does not believe that there are pagans and infidels waiting to be converted to a particular system of beliefs and ideas or a race of the damned waiting to be saved.’
Adhering to a religion other than that of the majority.‘the infidel foe’
atheistic, unbelieving, non-believing, non-theistic, agnostic, sceptical, heretical, faithless, godless, ungodly, unholy, impious, profane, infidel, barbarian, barbarous, heathen, heathenish, idolatrous, paganView synonyms
- ‘But strip an Irish Catholic of his nationality, and you tumble down the bulwark that shelters his faith in a foreign and infidel land.’
- ‘Seventy years ago, before our country was rich, our people went to those infidel countries to work; our own people earned money there to support their families here.’
- ‘The Turks were marched to Gallipoli to defend their homeland from infidel invaders; the English and Aussies and New Zealanders, shipped to Turkey to defeat the barbarians who had joined the German invaders.’
- ‘At the moment I'm reading your stupid questionnaire, you infidel fool.’
- ‘The new objects were dismissed by Descartes' disciples, who felt certain that this infidel mathematician and his ungodly ‘discoveries’ could be explained away.’
Late 15th century: from French infidèle or Latin infidelis, from in- ‘not’ + fidelis ‘faithful’ (from fides ‘faith’, related to fidere ‘to trust’). The word originally denoted a person of a religion other than one's own, specifically a Muslim (to a Christian), a Christian (to a Muslim), or a Gentile (to a Jew).
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