[ her-uh-see ]
See synonyms for heresy on
noun,plural her·e·sies.
  1. opinion or doctrine at variance with the orthodox or accepted doctrine, especially of a church or religious system.

  2. the maintaining of such an opinion or doctrine.

  1. Roman Catholic Church. the willful and persistent rejection of any article of faith by a baptized member of the church.

  2. any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs, customs, etc.

Origin of heresy

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English heresie, from Old French eresie, from Latin haeresis “school of thought, sect,” from Greek haíresis, literally, “act of choosing,” derivative of haireîn “to choose”

Other words for heresy

Other words from heresy

  • su·per·her·e·sy, noun, plural su·per·her·e·sies.

Words Nearby heresy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use heresy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for heresy


/ (ˈhɛrəsɪ) /

nounplural -sies
    • an opinion or doctrine contrary to the orthodox tenets of a religious body or church

    • the act of maintaining such an opinion or doctrine

  1. any opinion or belief that is or is thought to be contrary to official or established theory

  1. belief in or adherence to unorthodox opinion

Origin of heresy

C13: from Old French eresie, from Late Latin haeresis, from Latin: sect, from Greek hairesis a choosing, from hairein to choose

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

Cultural definitions for heresy


A belief or teaching considered unacceptable by a religious group. (See heretic.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.