het·​ero·​dox | \ ˈhe-tə-rə-ˌdäks How to pronounce heterodox (audio) , ˈhe-trə- \

Definition of heterodox

1 : contrary to or different from an acknowledged standard, a traditional form, or an established religion : unorthodox, unconventional heterodox ideas
2 : holding unorthodox opinions or doctrines a heterodox religious sect

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Orthodoxy ... is my doxy - heterodoxy is another man's doxy, quipped 18th-century bishop William Warburton. He was only punning, but it is true that individuals often see other people's ideas as unconventional while regarding their own as beyond reproach. The antonyms "orthodox" and "heterodox" developed from the same root, the Greek doxa, which means "opinion." Heterodox derives from "doxa" plus "heter-," a combining form meaning "other" or "different"; "orthodoxy" pairs "doxa" with orth-, meaning "correct" or "straight."

Examples of heterodox in a Sentence

a Christian clergyman with a very heterodox opinion on the divinity of Jesus her heterodox approach to teaching science initially met with some resistance from her peers
Recent Examples on the Web For this reason, American conservatives were initially skeptical of the heterodox British philosopher. Nate Hochman, National Review, "Michael Oakeshott, 30 Years Later," 18 Dec. 2020 In light of episodes like these, a toxic environment, self-censoring and publication bias combine to explain the dearth of skeptical or heterodox findings and views regarding ways to control COVID-19. Jeanne Lenzer, Scientific American, "The COVID Science Wars," 30 Nov. 2020 At Cambridge, Keynes helped to found what Carter presents as another unconventional community centered on heterodox economic ideas and romantic entanglements. Kim Phillips-fein, The New Republic, "The Lost Rebellious Spirit of Keynes," 9 June 2020 Ball, a former MSNBC host, and Enjeti, a former Daily Caller correspondent, have attracted praise from a heterodox crowd that ranges from Glenn Greenwald to Steve Bannon. Tobias Hoonhout, National Review, "Progressive Populism’s Dashed Hopes," 16 Apr. 2020 But that these views ever became heterodox in the first place should cause us great concern. WSJ, "Capitalism, Socialism and Haley’s Comment," 3 Mar. 2020 Pollock attended a workshop that Siqueiros conducted in New York, in 1936, teaching innovative techniques: using non-paint materials, airbrushing, and, among other heterodox procedures, dripping and pouring. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "The Lasting Influence of Mexico’s Great Muralists," 24 Feb. 2020 An online bandwagon promotes the most heterodox voices. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "What Do Republican Voters Want?," 16 Nov. 2019 The Damascus government of Bashar Assad is dominated by Alawites, a heterodox religious minority. Karl Vick, Time, "What the Death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Says About the War That Killed Him," 31 Oct. 2019

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

circa 1650, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for heterodox

Late Latin heterodoxus, from Greek heterodoxos, from heter- + doxa opinion — more at doxology

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Time Traveler for heterodox

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The first known use of heterodox was circa 1650

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Cite this Entry

“Heterodox.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heterodox. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of heterodox

formal : not agreeing with established beliefs or standards

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