nounchiefly • archaic
- A person who does not believe in religion or who adheres to a religion other than one’s own: (as plural noun the infidel) they wanted to secure the Holy Places from the infidelMore example sentences
- 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.
- Churches were running out of room, and infidels begged the religious community to pray to their God to save them.
- Particular emphasis is placed on not recognizing the holy days or national observances of the infidels.
adjectiveBack to top
- Adhering to a religion other than one’s own: the infidel foeMore example sentences
- The new objects were dismissed by Descartes' disciples, who felt certain that this infidel mathematician and his ungodly ‘discoveries’ could be explained away.
- But strip an Irish Catholic of his nationality, and you tumble down the bulwark that shelters his faith in a foreign and infidel land.
- 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.
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).