1. An adherent of a polytheistic religion in antiquity, especially when viewed in contrast to an adherent of a monotheistic religion.
2. A Neopagan.
a. One who has no religion.
b. An adherent of a religion other than Judaism, Christianity, or Islam.
4. A hedonist.
[Middle English, from Late Latin pāgānus, from Latin, country-dweller, civilian, from pāgus, country, rural district; see pag- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
pagan·dom (-dəm) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.