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SAT vocabulary: infidel

What does infidel mean? Read below for the definition.

Quick vocab quiz for the word infidel

First, before you read about the word infidel, try this quick vocab quiz:

infidel most nearly means

(A) aesthete
(B) sage
(C) dullard
(D) non-believer
(E) cynic

Write your answer down, or just store it in that razor-sharp mind of yours. (If you can’t wait, the answer is below.)

Now let’s learn about the word infidel.

Part of Speech of infidel

infidel is a NOUN.

Pronunciation of infidel

Here’s how to pronounce infidel:

IPA: /ˈɪn.fɪ.dɛl/

Glossary-style: [IHN-fih-dehl]

Definition of infidel

infidel means: a person who does not believe in a particular religion, especially Christianity or Islam.

Explain more about infidel, please

An infidel is someone who does not believe in a religion, especially Christianity or Islam. infidel is not a very nice word, so try to avoid calling people infidels. By extension, an infidel can also be someone who doesn’t accept a particular belief or principle.

Example of infidel

Here’s the word infidel used in a sentence:

It is important for members of different religious groups not to view others as infidels so that they may have peaceful relationships.

Discussion: What do a stereotypical American dog “Fido”, the U.S. Marines, and infidels have in common? A Latin word, of course.

You may already know that “fidelis” in Latin means “faithful”. The other examples? They are also important in American culture and language.

If you watch enough American television or read American comic books, you might think that all dogs in the U.S. are named “Fido”, “Rover”, or “Rex”. (Truth be told, I’ve never known any dog with any of these names.) “Fido”, of course, comes from Latin and is a nod to the human perception of dogs as being loyal.

I was once walking through LAX, the airport in Los Angeles, and saw one man say ot another, “Semper Fi!” The other turned to look at him and said, “Semper Fi, buddy, Semper Fi.” It was interesting to see the exchange of code between the two. Of course, the motto of the U.S. Marines (and other organizations as well) is “Semper Fidelis”, which is often shorted to “Semper Fi” and means “always faithful”.

And finally, an “infidel”, at least according to the etymology of the word, is someone who is unfaithful to a particular religion. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone actually refer to another as an infidel; it seems it’s others telling us of others referring to others as infidels (e.g., on news reports).

If you’ve read this far, you’re a great student and will learn vocabulary quickly. You may now check your answer.

Answer to the quick vocab quiz

By Erin Billy

Founder of TestMagic, Inc. in San Francisco, USA.

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