apostasy

[uh-pos-tuh-see]
noun, plural apostasies.
a total desertion of or departure from one's religion, principles, party, cause, etc.

Origin:
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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World English Dictionary
apostasy (əˈpɒstəsɪ)
 
n , pl -sies
abandonment of one's religious faith, party, a cause, etc
 
[C14: from Church Latin apostasia, from Greek apostasis desertion, from apostanai to stand apart from, desert]

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Word Origin & History

apostasy
late 14c., from L. apostasia, from later Gk. apostasia, from apostasis "revolt, defection," lit. "a standing off" (see apostate). General (non-religious) sense is attested from 1570s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

apostasy

the total rejection of Christianity by a baptized person who, having at one time professed the Christian faith, publicly rejects it. It is distinguished from heresy, which is limited to the rejection of one or more Christian doctrines by one who maintains an overall adherence to Jesus Christ.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
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.
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