heretic

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

Essential Meaning of heretic

: someone who believes or teaches something that goes against accepted or official beliefs The church regards them as heretics.

Full 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 Likewise, referring to Francis as unorthodox or a heretic is unacceptable. The Salt Lake Tribune, 27 Sep. 2021 In 1431, Joan of Arc, condemned as a heretic, was burned at the stake in Rouen, France. BostonGlobe.com, 30 May 2021 An apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic automatically incurs excommunication, when the delict (or violation) is committed. Fr. Goran Jovicic, National Review, 13 June 2021 In 1431, Joan of Arc, condemned as a heretic, was burned at the stake in Rouen, France. BostonGlobe.com, 30 May 2021 In 1431, Joan of Arc, condemned as a heretic, was burned at the stake in Rouen, France. BostonGlobe.com, 30 May 2021 The bishop has to decide whether to have the minister tried as a heretic. Celia Storey, Arkansas Online, 24 May 2021 As this example illustrates, one of the hardest questions a science commentator faces is when to take a heretic seriously. Matt Ridley, WSJ, 9 Oct. 2020 Guston, too, was a heretic in flight from the high priests of culture. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 4 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for heretic

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

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Dictionary Entries Near heretic

here, there, and everywhere

heretic

heretical

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Last Updated

3 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Heretic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heretic. Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for heretic

heretic

noun
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)

More from Merriam-Webster on heretic

Nglish: Translation of heretic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heretic for Arabic Speakers

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