heresy

noun
her·​e·​sy | \ ˈher-ə-sē How to pronounce heresy (audio) , ˈhe-rə- \
plural heresies

Definition of heresy

1a : adherence to a religious opinion contrary to church dogma (see dogma sense 2) They were accused of heresy.
b : denial of a revealed truth by a baptized member of the Roman Catholic Church
c : an opinion or doctrine contrary to church dogma
2a : dissent or deviation from a dominant theory, opinion, or practice To disagree with the party leadership was heresy.
b : an opinion, doctrine, or practice contrary to the truth or to generally accepted beliefs or standards our democratic heresy which holds that … truth is to be found by majority vote— M. W. Straight

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Examples of heresy in a Sentence

They were accused of heresy. He was preaching dangerous heresies.
Recent Examples on the Web The Marxists who are so skillful in the detection and the isolation of heresies used to inveigh against one particular heresy that pleased me particularly. John Dos Passos, National Review, "Reminiscences of a Middle-Class Radical," 28 Sep. 2020 Galileo was sentenced to house arrest for life for saying the Earth went around the sun, a heresy in the 17th century. Ron Grossman, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Battling over books, professors and the president miss the essence of Western civilization," 23 Sep. 2020 Perhaps Reagan’s greatest heresy from a Trumpist point of view was his support for responsible gun control. Bruce Bartlett, The New Republic, "Trump’s Republican Party Is Erasing Reagan’s Memory," 31 Aug. 2020 That heresy sparked outrage on the left, and her views on recent events are likely to raise... Daniel Akst, WSJ, "One Step Ahead of the Woke Mob," 28 Aug. 2020 Early church fathers such as Irenaeus and Tertullian battled Gnostic ideas, rejecting them as heresy. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Katelyn Beaty: QAnon is the alternative religion that’s coming to your church," 25 Aug. 2020 But a group of researchers is promoting a bit of scientific heresy, or at least thinking about parasites a little differently. Eric Niiler, Wired, "Should We Conserve Parasites? Apparently, Yes," 13 Aug. 2020 Consider, however, the following: Even though Henry VIII, Mary’s father, only had 81 people burned at the stake over the course of his 38-year reign, heresy was far from the sole charge that warranted execution in Tudor England. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Myth of ‘Bloody Mary’," 12 Mar. 2020 During the first year of her reign, many prominent Protestants fled abroad, but those who stayed behind—and persisted in publicly proclaiming their beliefs—became targets of heresy laws that carried a brutal punishment: burning at the stake. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Myth of ‘Bloody Mary’," 12 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heresy.' 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 heresy

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for heresy

Middle English heresie, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed (with assimilation to the suffix -ie -y entry 2) from Late Latin haeresis, heresis "school (of philosophy or theology), sect, belief contrary to church dogma," borrowed from Greek haíresis "act of taking, choice, course of action or thought, system of principles, sect, faction," from haireîn "to take, grasp, (middle voice) obtain, choose, prefer" (of obscure origin) + -sis -sis

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Time Traveler for heresy

Time Traveler

The first known use of heresy was in the 13th century

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Statistics for heresy

Last Updated

1 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Heresy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heresy. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for heresy

heresy

noun
How to pronounce heresy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of heresy

: a belief or opinion that does not agree with the official belief or opinion of a particular religion

heresy

noun
her·​e·​sy | \ ˈher-ə-sē How to pronounce heresy (audio) \
plural heresies

Kids Definition of heresy

1 : the holding of religious beliefs opposed to church doctrine : such a belief
2 : belief or opinion opposed to a generally accepted view It's heresy in my family to not love baseball.

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