• synonyms


[huh-ree-zee-ahrk, -see-, her-uh-see-]
  1. a leader in heresy; the leader of a heretical sect.
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Origin of heresiarch

1615–25; < Late Latin haeresiarcha < Greek hairesiarchḗs the leader of a school, equivalent to haíresi(s) heresy + -archēs -arch
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for heresiarch

Historical Examples of heresiarch

  • An attempt was then made to deal the new religion a fatal blow by the seizure and execution of the heresiarch, Mazdak.

    The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 7. (of 7): The Sassanian or New Persian Empire

    George Rawlinson

  • For the rest, the heresiarch had a mighty flow of vituperative speech.


    George Gissing

  • A heresiarch,' he had written even in his Anglican days, 'should meet with no mercy.

    Outspoken Essays

    William Ralph Inge

  • The Heresiarch did not pretend to have written it himself, nor did he ascribe it to any other person.

  • But, as in the case of Felix, the heresiarch was more than a match for his opponents in argument.

British Dictionary definitions for heresiarch


  1. the leader or originator of a heretical movement or sect
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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 heresiarch


1620s, from Church Latin haeresiarcha, from Late Greek hairesiarkhes (see heresy + arch-).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper