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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English paynym, paynyme, from Anglo-Norman paienime, peinime et al., 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, “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
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
    • 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 Qveene. [], London: [] [John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938, book III, canto iii:
      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, “Book I”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554, lines 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.

Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of paynym