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[uh-pos-tuh-see] /əˈpɒs tə si/
noun, plural apostasies.
a total desertion of or departure from one's religion, principles, party, cause, etc.
Origin of apostasy
1350-1400; Middle English apostasye (< Anglo-French) < Late Latin apostasia < Greek: a standing away, withdrawing, equivalent to apóstas(is) (apo- apo- + sta- stand + -sis -sis) + -ia -ia Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for apostasy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Also that hankering after an overt or practical effect seems to me an apostasy.

    Essays, Second Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • And he averted his head from her, as though from a temptation to apostasy.


    Stephen French Whitman
  • Their commander purchased his life by apostasy and a treasonable oath.

    Peter the Hermit Daniel A. Goodsell
  • Just then it was, if we mistake not, that their apostasy began.

    A History of American Christianity

    Leonard Woolsey Bacon
  • So Peter tells us that the alternative is growth or apostasy.

    Expositions of Holy Scripture

    Alexander Maclaren
British Dictionary definitions for apostasy


noun (pl) -sies
abandonment of one's religious faith, party, a cause, etc
Word Origin
C14: from Church Latin apostasia, from Greek apostasis desertion, from apostanai to stand apart from, desert
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for apostasy

late 14c., "renunciation, abandonment or neglect of established religion," from Latin apostasia, from later Greek apostasia, from apostasis "revolt, defection," literally "a standing off" (see apostate). General (non-religious) sense is attested from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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