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.

  • Pronunciation: /'dʒɛntaɪl/
  • English description: a Christian as contrasted with a Jew
  • Synonyms: non-Jew
  • Chinese Translation:   非犹太人(fei1 you2 tai4 ren2)
  • Spanish Translation: gentil
  • ORIGIN: 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."


  • Which, he said, I am–feeling for the Jewish hands and barely at all for thegentile ones.
  • The players, gentiles all, stood in single file, awaiting the man at the head of the line.

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