heresy

noun her·e·sy \ ˈher-ə-sē , ˈhe-rə- \
|Updated on: 6 Jul 2018
plural heresies
1 a : adherence to a religious opinion contrary to church dogma (see dogma 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
2 a : 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

Examples of heresy in a Sentence

  1. They were accused of heresy.

  2. He was preaching dangerous heresies.

Recent Examples of heresy from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of heresy

Middle English heresie, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed (with assimilation to the suffix -ie 2-y) 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

Other Christian Religious Terms


HERESY Defined for English Language Learners

heresy

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


HERESY Defined for Kids

heresy

noun her·e·sy \ ˈher-ə-sē \
plural heresies
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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