he·​ret·​i·​cal | \ hə-ˈre-ti-kəl How to pronounce heretical (audio) \
variants: or less commonly heretic \ ˈher-​ə-​ˌtik How to pronounce heretical (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.

Other Words from heretical

heretically \ hə-​ˈre-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce heretical (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 There is some proof of success to McFall’s heretical approach: BIGGBY is growing fast, adding about 1.5 new locations a week. Elizabeth Macbride, Forbes, 4 Aug. 2022 But White Christian nationalists interpret these ideas in ways that are potentially violent and heretical. John Blake, CNN, 24 July 2022 But this heretical thought keeps intruding: Is there such a thing as too much Sondheim? Globe Staff,, 20 July 2022 The word Anabaptist is derived from their founding belief that only baptisms performed on adults were legitimate, a deeply heretical position at the time. Kelsey Osgood, The Atlantic, 28 June 2022 The attack came as worshipers at the Sunni mosque gathered for zikr — an act of religious remembrance seen as heretical by some hard-line Sunni groups. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2022 Instead, corporate studios transform these stories into quasi-religious texts that are pharisaically protected by copyright from heretical reinterpretation and innovation—in other words, fan service. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 10 May 2022 In this new order, Subin argues, deification would become, at best, heretical and, at worst, nonsensical. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, 6 Dec. 2021 But innovations meant to attract newcomers are considered by the old guard as impure, even heretical or just tacky. The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

17 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Heretical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on heretical

Nglish: Translation of heretical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heretical for Arabic Speakers


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