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gentile

Use the word gentile to mean non-Jewish, like the gentile friend you invite to your family's Passover Seder because she's curious about Jewish religious traditions.

When Gentile is a noun, it's usually capitalized, and it's most frequently used to contrast a Christian with a Jew. There are other religions that use the word gentile to describe a non-believer, including Mormonism and Hinduism. More generally, gentile refers to a person who doesn't acknowledge a particular god or belief. The root is the Latin gentilis, whose meaning of "fellow countryman or family member" changed over time to mean "foreign, heathen, pagan."

Definitions of gentile
  1. noun
    a Christian as contrasted with a Jew
    synonyms: goy, non-Jew
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    type of:
    Christian
    a religious person who believes Jesus is the Christ and who is a member of a Christian denomination
  2. noun
    a Christian
    “Christians refer to themselves as gentiles
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    type of:
    Christian
    a religious person who believes Jesus is the Christ and who is a member of a Christian denomination
  3. noun
    a person who does not acknowledge your god
    synonyms: heathen, infidel, pagan
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    types:
    paynim
    a heathen; a person who is not a Christian (especially a Muslim)
    idol worshiper, idolater, idoliser, idolizer
    a person who worships idols
    idolatress
    a woman idolater
    type of:
    nonreligious person
    a person who does not manifest devotion to a deity
  4. noun
    a person who is not a member of one's own religion; used in this sense by Mormons and Hindus
  5. adjective
    belonging to or characteristic of non-Jewish peoples
Word Family
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