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 And it relieved conservatives who have used the debate over priestly celibacy to heighten opposition to the pope, whom some have accused of heresy. Nicole Winfield, USA TODAY, "Pope Francis rejects proposal to allow married men to become priests in the Amazon," 12 Feb. 2020 In 1536, English theologian and scholar William Tyndale, who was the first to translate the Bible into Early Modern English, was executed for heresy. BostonGlobe.com, "In 1892, British poet laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson died in Surrey, England, at age 83.," 6 Oct. 2019 But despite clearing them of heresy, Pope Clement ordered that they be disbanded. Patrick Masters, Quartz, "The true history of the conspiracy theories about the Knights Templar," 30 Dec. 2019 For a party that helped establish German democracy in the West, such a pact would be heresy. Arne Delfs, Bloomberg.com, "Angela Merkel’s Wounded Party Doesn’t Know Where to Lead Germany," 20 Nov. 2019 And tribal allegiances to news outlets mean that any hint of heresy can provoke an outcry. Michael M. Grynbaum, New York Times, "In Prime Time, Two Versions of Impeachment for a Divided Nation," 16 Nov. 2019 For a vocal faction of traditionalists this spirit of boldness is already on the verge of heresy. The Economist, "A high-noon moment for Pope Francis over the Amazon," 4 Oct. 2019 But over time, his heresy has come to look a lot like faith. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "Kanye West, Heretic by Nature, Finds God," 27 Oct. 2019 Her reward is a charge of grave heresy, punishable by death. David Canfield, EW.com, "Exclusive: James Rollins lands huge 7-figure deal for epic fantasy series," 15 Nov. 2019

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

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Heresy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heresy. Accessed 22 Feb. 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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