apos·tate | \ə-ˈpäs-ˌtāt, -tət\

Definition of apostate 

: one who commits apostasy

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Other Words from apostate

apostate adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for apostate


defector, deserter, recreant, renegade



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Examples of apostate in a Sentence

an apostate from communism, he later became one of its harshest critics became an apostate to liberalism after he had gotten wealthy

Recent Examples on the Web

Sunni extremists view Shiites as apostates, and have carried out scores of attacks over the past two decades that have killed thousands of them. Fox News, "Pakistani lawyer ends protest after army reassures Shiites," 2 May 2018 Their faith barred them from even speaking to apostates. Alden Woods, azcentral, "Outsiders, FLDS battle for control of towns Warren Jeffs left behind," 27 Mar. 2018 An apostate Synanon member had nearly been beaten to death. Hillel Aron, Los Angeles Magazine, "The Story of This Drug Rehab-Turned-Violent Cult Is Wild, Wild Country-Caliber Bizarre," 23 Apr. 2018 Like their counterparts in Syria and Iraq, insurgents belonging to Afghanistan’s Islamic State group are radical Sunni Muslims who revile Shiites as apostates and believe that the entire Muslim world should be ruled by a single caliphate. Kathy Gannon, The Seattle Times, "Q&A: How strong is the Islamic State group in Afghanistan," 22 Apr. 2018 The Marshals Office found excuses to arrest apostates. Alden Woods, azcentral, "Outsiders, FLDS battle for control of towns Warren Jeffs left behind," 27 Mar. 2018 Afghanistan is home to a powerful Islamic State affiliate that has repeatedly targeted Shiites, who the extremists view as apostates deserving of death. Fox News, "The Latest: IS claims suicide bombing in Afghanistan," 21 Mar. 2018 The Shiite Turkmens had erected walls because the Islamic State jihadis, who adhere to a strict Sunni doctrine, believe Shiites are apostates who should be killed. Nabih Bulos, latimes.com, "Tuz Khurmatu is Iraq's city of walls. Is it a sign of the country's future?," 11 Mar. 2018 The sudden arrival of a new class of tech skeptic, the industry apostate, has only complicated the discussion. John Herrman, New York Times, "How Tiny Red Dots Took Over Your Life," 27 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apostate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of apostate

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for apostate

see apostasy

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Time Traveler for apostate

The first known use of apostate was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of apostate

: someone whose beliefs have changed and who no longer belongs to a religious or political group

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Comments on apostate

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a state of commotion or excitement

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