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[uh-pos-tuh-see] /əˈpɒs tə si/
noun, plural apostasies.
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for apostasy
  • He was a youngish up-and-comer then, but physics rarely forgives apostasy.
  • There were wrathful denunciations of this apostasy.
  • Now he wants to make drilling safer — apostasy to these industry apologists.
  • If this reads like an apostasy, it also looks like part of a larger withering of faith.
  • Most politicians and policy makers still regard the abandonment of anti-drug laws as dangerous apostasy.
  • The government gets tough on apostasy.
  • He was found guilty of blasphemy and apostasy by a trial court in October and was sentenced to two years in prison.
  • It is socialism and as I've said it is an act of apostasy.
  • Such talk sounds like apostasy.
  • It was considered as an indication of political apostasy.
British Dictionary definitions for apostasy


noun (pl) -sies
abandonment of one's religious faith, party, a cause, etc
Word Origin
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
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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
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