he·​ret·​i·​cal | \hə-ˈre-ti-kəl \
variants: or less commonly heretic \ˈher-​ə-​ˌtik, ˈhe-​rə-​ \

Definition of heretical 

1 : of or relating to adherence to a religious opinion contrary to church dogma : characterized by heresy heretical writings

2 : of, relating to, or characterized by departure from accepted beliefs or standards : unorthodox It would be heretical to suggest changing company policy.

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Other Words from heretical

heretically \hə-​ˈre-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of heretical in a Sentence

the belief that women should be allowed to have careers outside the home was once considered heretical

Recent Examples on the Web

On February 24, 1616, the Qualifiers of the Inquisition declared heliocentrism heretical. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Did Math Kill God?," 27 Apr. 2018 Perhaps most surprising, conservatives who disdained Mr. Trump and considered his views on trade, immigration and national security to be heretical are increasingly drifting toward him. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "Battle for the GOP’s Soul? Trump Has Won," 22 Oct. 2018 Aghast at the heretical implications, Lorini forwarded the letter to the Inquisition in Rome on February 7, 1615. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Newly discovered letter by Galileo resolves puzzling historical mystery," 22 Sep. 2018 If you're porked out, try Frances's heretical but delicious choice — sliced turkey, hot off the pit. Frances Bailey, Country Living, "North Carolina BBQ Road Trip Route," 7 July 2014 And, since a lot of people have an even more passionate affair with Frisch's Coke with a shot of vanilla or cherry, the exact recipe is paramount, including the soft but crunchy ice, which no one has yet been heretical enough to change. Polly Campbell,, "Polly Campbell: Coke back at Frisch's. Here's what it means," 18 June 2018 New York Times columnist David Brooks used to be a Republican — a somewhat heretical Republican on occasion, but a GOPer nonetheless — back in the days when his perch was the Weekly Standard. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "David Brooks Wants to Bring Back the Whigs," 16 May 2018 He, and many other Southern Baptists believed (and still believe) that the ordination of women is a functionally heretical act on the part of that church. Hännah Ettinger, Houston Chronicle, "Ending an abusive marriage is hard. Ending one in the evangelical church is harder.," 12 May 2018 Years after Pearson’s heretical vision, how does the American church reckon with those tangible evils? Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "A Christian Awakening?," 24 Apr. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for heretical

Middle English heretikel, borrowed from Medieval Latin haereticālis, from Late Latin haereticus heretic + Latin -ālis -al entry 1

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Statistics for heretical

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for heretical

The first known use of heretical was in the 15th century

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