[ uh-pos-tuh-tahyz ]
/ əˈpɒs təˌtaɪz /
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verb (used without object), a·pos·ta·tized, a·pos·ta·tiz·ing.

to commit apostasy.



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Also especially British, a·pos·ta·tise .

Origin of apostatize

From the Late Latin word apostatīzāre, dating back to 1545–55. See apostate, -ize


a·pos·ta·tism [uh-pos-tuh-tiz-uhm], /əˈpɒs təˌtɪz əm/, nounun·a·pos·ta·tized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does apostatize mean?

Apostatize means to totally abandon or reject one’s religion.

It can also be used in a slightly more general way to mean to totally abandon or reject one’s principles, cause, party, or other organization.

The act of doing so is called apostasy, and someone who does so can be called an apostate.

These words typically imply that before the rejection, one had a strong connection or involvement. They are all usually used in a way that’s critical of such abandonment—or that at least implies that others who remain in the religion or cause are critical of the departure.

Apostasy is sometimes used more specifically to refer to a rejection of Christianity, but apostasy and apostatize are also used in the context of other religions, such as Islam.

Example: The pastor’s sermon condemned those who apostatize—the trouble is, the apostates weren’t there to hear it.

Where does apostatize come from?

The first records of the word apostatize come from the 1500s. Apostasy is recorded earlier and comes from the Late Latin apostasia, meaning “a standing away” or “withdrawing,” from the Greek apóstas(is), “desertion.” The root apo- means “away,” “off,” or “apart.” (Apo– is also used in the similar-sounding but mostly unrelated word apostle, which comes from a Greek term meaning “one who is sent forth.”)

To apostatize is to stand away from something (or someone) that you used to stand with. Most frequently, apostasy refers to the total rejection of a belief system that you used to subscribe to, especially a religious one. Even when apostatize is used in other ways, such departures are likened in seriousness to a rejection of one’s religion. For example, a politician who leaves their party for a rival one might be accused of apostasy or labeled an apostate. On the other hand, heresy (which can also be used in a literal or more figurative way) refers to the rejection or contradiction of a certain belief or doctrine within a religion or other system without abandoning it completely.

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What are some other forms related to apostatize?

  • apostatise (British English spelling)
  • apostatism (noun)
  • apostate (noun, adjective)
  • apostasy (noun)

What are some words that share a root or word element with apostatize



What are some words that often get used in discussing apostatize?


How is apostatize used in real life?

Apostatize is usually used seriously and negatively. It’s most often used in reference to religion, but it can also be used in politics and other contexts.



Try using apostatize!

Which of the following actions is NOT associated with apostatizing

A. renunciation
B. rejection
C. acceptance
D. abandonment

How to use apostatize in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for apostatize



/ (əˈpɒstəˌtaɪz) /


(intr) to forsake or abandon one's belief, faith, or allegiance
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