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 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 Some have gone so far as to accuse Francis of heresy and warned of the risk of schism, or a formal separation from the Holy See. Washington Post, "Pope says US critics use ‘rigid’ ideology’ to mask failings," 10 Sep. 2019 Over the years, Nxivm’s curriculums provided the philosophical framework for a group in which members were taught to substitute Mr. Raniere’s principles for their own and see deviation from his teachings as heresy. Colin Moynihan, New York Times, "Nxivm: How a Sex Cult Leader Seduced and Programmed His Followers," 14 June 2019 There is a curious tendency among some originalist jurists to treat disagreement on the original meaning as heresy. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Conservative Judges Are Brawling Over Originalism," 22 Aug. 2019 Suddenly, the inconceivable, the heresy-even-to-hint-at, was to be taken as gospel: The outcome was illegitimate! Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "The Election Is Legitimate Only If the Democrats Win," 16 Aug. 2019 To some, the band’s comingling of money and art is heresy. Chris Kornelis, WSJ, "Gene Simmons on KISS and Capitalism," 23 Feb. 2019 How the heresies of two bankers became the basis of our modern economy. Matthew C. Kramer, The New Yorker, "Unsung Heroes of the Internet," 25 May 2018

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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Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Heresy.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heresy. Accessed 15 December 2019.

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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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