he·​ret·​i·​cal | \ hə-ˈre-ti-kəl How to pronounce heretical (audio) \
variants: or less commonly heretic \ ˈher-​ə-​ˌtik How to pronounce heretic (audio) , 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 How to pronounce heretically (audio) \ 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 He had been baptized a Christian, even if doctrinal affinity put him in the heretical Arian camp. Cullen Murphy, The Atlantic, "The Man Who Sacked Rome," 9 June 2020 Ball was sympathetic to the Lollards, a Christian sect deemed heretical by Rome. Susan Wade, The Conversation, "Uprisings after pandemics have happened before – just look at the English Peasant Revolt of 1381," 5 June 2020 If anything, although this might be heretical to say, what Covid has actually underlined is the value and capacity of collective action and some level of state intervention. Matt Simon, Wired, "An Onslaught of Crises Has Created a Modern Paradox," 1 June 2020 This is why impatience to reopen is an entirely understandable sentiment, even if it is treated by much of the media as heretical. The Editors, National Review, "The Next Phase," 29 Apr. 2020 Grayson, the emeritus professor at the University of Sheffield, said that other Christians in South Korea view groups that question the authority of Christ as heretical. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "How one man's epiphany on a Seoul mountain in 1955 laid the foundation for many religious sects in South Korea," 6 Mar. 2020 In 2004, Lautenberg was extended to Iran — and not just the Jews and Christians in the country but also the Baha'is, a religious sect that is considered heretical by Iran's mullahs. Shikha Dalmia, TheWeek, "How Modi supporters are trying to cloak an anti-Muslim bill in American law," 7 Feb. 2020 Salafist fighters shut down a celebration of Earth Day, also deemed heretical. David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, "A Police State With an Islamist Twist: Inside Hifter’s Libya," 20 Feb. 2020 Many Republicans have called for the heretical senator to be expelled from their party. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "Perfect Republicans, &c.," 10 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for heretical

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

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Last Updated

17 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Heretical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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