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

Did you know?

It's true: 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, Greek doxa, which means "opinion." Heterodox derives from doxa plus heter-, a combining form meaning "other" or "different"; orthodox 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 One of the reasons inflation got out of control in the 1970s is that policy makers had heterodox theories about its cause, such as powerful corporations and unions. Greg Ip, WSJ, 8 June 2022 Someone like a Leondra Kruger is known as a pretty heterodox person, someone who has oftentimes voted with conservatives on the California Supreme Court. ABC News, 30 Jan. 2022 Conservatives get nervous about every Republican nominee; Democrats have not sent a genuinely heterodox justice to the Court since Byron White was appointed by John F. Kennedy. The Editors, National Review, 26 Jan. 2022 Famous people and ordinary citizens alike have been fired from jobs, stripped of opportunities, and banished to a social-pariah wilderness for transgressing new language conventions or for expressing heterodox views. Harry Bruinius, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 Nov. 2021 In a recent piece for The Atlantic, the progressive but frequently heterodox writer Caitlin Flanagan channeled her inner Marxist for an attack on American private schools. Graham Hillard, National Review, 15 Apr. 2021 The group has a longstanding commitment to ignoring the macroeconomic breakthroughs of heterodox economic thinkers in the tradition of John Maynard Keynes. Alex Yablon, The New Republic, 4 Mar. 2021 For this reason, American conservatives were initially skeptical of the heterodox British philosopher. Nate Hochman, National Review, 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, 30 Nov. 2020 See More

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.

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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The first known use of heterodox was circa 1650

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Last Updated

11 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Heterodox.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heterodox. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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