apos·​tate | \ ə-ˈpäs-ˌtāt How to pronounce apostate (audio) , -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

The radical Sunni Islamic state reviles Shiites as apostates. Fox News, "US Defense secretary makes surprise visit to war-weary Kabul," 7 Sep. 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 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 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 Most of the Islamic world now ignores ancient calls to jihad, concubinage or the execution of apostates and homosexuals. Bartle Bull, WSJ, "‘Crusade and Jihad’ Review: Conquest and Conquerors," 26 Aug. 2018 This attitude of skeptical resentment also makes populism a fertile field for the work of conspiracy theorists and other enthusiastic apostates from civic convention. Fox News, "'Every Man a King: A Short, Colorful History of American Populists' by Chris Stirewalt," 10 Sep. 2018 The insurgency gave birth to al-Qaida in Iraq, a local affiliate that pioneered the use of terrorist attacks on Shiite Muslims, regarded as apostates by Sunni extremists. Nabih Bulos, The Seattle Times, "Seventeen years after Sept. 11, al-Qaida may be stronger than ever," 10 Sep. 2018 And 4 percent declared that defectors — apostates — deserved more harm. Lilliana Mason, Washington Post, "Surprised by the anger toward McCain? Party loyalists can hate apostates as much as opponents.," 16 May 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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Statistics for apostate

Last Updated

24 Aug 2019

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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

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on apostate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with apostate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for apostate

Spanish Central: Translation of apostate

Nglish: Translation of apostate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of apostate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on apostate

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a haphazard or makeshift solution

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