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Alternative forms[edit]


From Anglo-Norman paienime, peinime et al., and Old French paienime, from Late Latin paganismus (paganism), from Latin paganus (pagan).



paynim (plural paynims)

  1. (archaic) A pagan or heathen, especially a Muslim, or a Jew.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter xxxviij, in Le Morte Darthur, book IX:
      But there was one knyght that dyd merueyllously thre dayes / and he bare a black shelde / and of alle knyghtes that euer I sawe he preued the best knyȝt / thenne said Kyng mark that was syre launcelot or syre palomydes the paynym
    • 1530, Thomas More, The Confutation of Tyndale's Answer, Preface to the Christian reader :
      And if it be idolatry to do as the paynims did—make an idol “God”—it must needs be much worse idolatry to do as these heretics do,
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.3:
      To this his native soyle thou backe shalt bring, / Strongly to ayde his countrey to withstand / The powre of forreine Paynims which invade thy land.
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book I | 763-6:
      (Though like a covered field, where champions bold / Wont ride in armed, and at the soldan's chair / Defied the best of paynim chivalry / To mortal combat, or career with lance).
    • 1964, Anthony Burgess, Nothing Like The Sun:
      St Helen’s bell rang reminders that she lived, a paynim or Mahometan, in the church’s shadow.