her·​e·​tic | \ ˈher-ə-ˌtik How to pronounce heretic (audio) , ˈhe-rə-\

Definition of heretic

1 religion : a person who differs in opinion from established religious dogma (see dogma sense 2) especially : a baptized member of the Roman Catholic Church who refuses to acknowledge or accept a revealed truth The church regards them as heretics.
2 : one who differs in opinion from an accepted belief or doctrine : nonconformist

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Examples of heretic in a Sentence

The church regards them as heretics. Galileo was condemned as a heretic for supporting Copernicus's thesis that the earth revolves around the sun and not vice versa.

Recent Examples on the Web

Locke’s detractors fail to acknowledge the machinations of the Catholic Church, in England and elsewhere, in which the Holy See acted to destabilize political authorities or condemn them as heretics and see them toppled. Joseph Loconte, National Review, "The Need for a Revival of Lockean Liberalism," 11 Sep. 2019 Those few who dared call him out on the spending and the corruption and the deals were dismissed as self-promoters, or treated as heretics, as if Chicago were Salem in the late winter of 1693, and naysayers had denied the existence of witches. John Kass,, "Column: Mayor Lightfoot has patience, but soon, she’ll have to be bold," 30 Aug. 2019 Grace Road Church has been denounced as a heretic organization by most mainstream Christian groups in South Korea. Fox News, "Doomsday cult leader who held 400 captive, beat them to 'drive out evil spirits,' gets 6-year sentence," 31 July 2019 This Irish native, accused by her stepchildren of performing witchcraft in 1324, was the first in the country to be tried for sorcery as a heretic. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "50 Best Witch Names to Upgrade Your Halloween Costume," 18 July 2019 As only the second black woman to serve in the United States Senate, Harris has come up against many a fight, but she's weathered the heretics like a true pro—with poise, passion, and just the right amount of backbone. Wired Staff, WIRED, "WIRED Suggests Updated Theme Songs for Presidential Hopefuls," 10 June 2019 In other words, how did Europe in the 16th century, when religious adherence was enforced and heretics were persecuted, produce a world in which freedom of thought and religious affiliation are now guaranteed? Barton Swaim, WSJ, "‘Permanent Revolution’ and ‘Liberty in the Things of God’ Review: Rendering Unto Caesar," 12 Apr. 2019 For some, there is schadenfreude — the pure entertainment value in watching a onetime liberal hero, even a controversial one, be declared a heretic. Joe Coscarelli, New York Times, "In Kanye West, the Right Sees Truth-Telling and a Rare A-List Ally," 27 Apr. 2018 No one has so far claimed responsibility for the bombing but officials blame the Islamic State group, which considers Shiites to be heretics and frequently targets them, attacking their mosques, schools and cultural centers. Amir Shah, Fox News, "Gunmen besiege Kabul compound as Afghans mourn Shite dead," 16 Aug. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for heretic

Middle English heretik, borrowed from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French heretic, heretik, borrowed from Late Latin haereticus, hereticus, borrowed from Late Greek hairetikós, from hairetikós, adjective, "departing from dogma, heretical," going back to Greek, "able to choose, due to choice," from hairetós "that may be taken, eligible, chosen," verbal adjective of haireîn "to take, grasp, (middle voice) obtain, choose, prefer" + -ikos -ic entry 1 — more at heresy

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15 Sep 2019

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The first known use of heretic was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for heretic



English Language Learners Definition of heretic

: someone who believes or teaches something that goes against accepted or official beliefs


her·​e·​tic | \ ˈher-ə-ˌtik How to pronounce heretic (audio) \

Kids Definition of heretic

: a person who believes or teaches something opposed to accepted beliefs (as of a church)

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More from Merriam-Webster on heretic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heretic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heretic

Spanish Central: Translation of heretic

Nglish: Translation of heretic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heretic for Arabic Speakers

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