- opinion or doctrine at variance with the orthodox or accepted doctrine, especially of a church or religious system.
- the maintaining of such an opinion or doctrine.
- Roman Catholic Church. the willful and persistent rejection of any article of faith by a baptized member of the church.
- any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs, customs, etc.
Origin of heresy
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for heresy
A person close to the family told the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle that he was initially arrested for heresy.Trust Iran? It Just Hanged a Man Who Doubted ‘Jonah and the Whale’
September 30, 2014
His move to the Tribune would be followed by a move to a suburban manse—“Heresy!”The Stacks: John Schulian’s Classic Profile of Newspaper Columnist Mike Royko
January 5, 2014
A few hundred years later, Belgian cartographer Gerard Mercator was charged with heresy.The Secret, Contentious History of Maps
November 30, 2013
He committed Republican heresy by saying revenue needs to be part of any deficit solution.Lindsey Graham Defies Party Line as Defense Cuts, GOP Primary Loom
July 27, 2012
His immigration “heresy” is more likely to help than to hurt him.Why Newt Gingrich Is a Stronger Presidential Candidate Than He Looks
November 29, 2011
During all that time the Arian heresy had no root in the West.
Egypt and Syria were torn to pieces by the Eutychean heresy.
Comparing any mortal with Daniels would be heresy, wouldn't it?Thankful's Inheritance
Joseph C. Lincoln
This was close to heresy, according to the captain's opinion.Cy Whittaker's Place
Joseph C. Lincoln
They babbled of toleration, as if any heresy were to be endured, if only it were believed.A Son of Hagar</p>
Sir Hall Caine
- an opinion or doctrine contrary to the orthodox tenets of a religious body or church
- the act of maintaining such an opinion or doctrine
- any opinion or belief that is or is thought to be contrary to official or established theory
- belief in or adherence to unorthodox opinion
Word Origin and History for heresy
"an opinion of private men different from that of the catholick and orthodox church" [Johnson], c.1200, from Old French heresie (12c.), from Latin hæresis, "school of thought, philosophical sect," used by Christian writers for "unorthodox sect or doctrine," from Greek hairesis "a taking or choosing, a choice," from haireisthai "take, seize," middle voice of hairein "to choose," of unknown origin, perhaps from PIE *ser- "to seize" (cf. Hittite šaru "booty," Welsh herw "booty").
The Greek word was used in the New Testament in reference to the Sadducees, Pharisees, and even the Christians, as sects of Judaism, but in English bibles it usually is translated sect. Meaning "religious belief opposed to the orthodox doctrines of the Church" evolved in Late Latin. Transferred (non-religious) use from late 14c.
A belief or teaching considered unacceptable by a religious group. (See heretic.)