[ uh-pos-tuh-see ]
/ əˈpɒs tə si /

noun, plural a·pos·ta·sies.

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
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British Dictionary definitions for apostasy


/ (əˈpɒstəsɪ) /

noun plural -sies

abandonment of one's religious faith, party, a cause, etc

Word Origin for apostasy

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

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