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heretic

[n. her-i-tik; adj. her-i-tik, huh-ret-ik] /n. ˈhɛr ɪ tɪk; adj. ˈhɛr ɪ tɪk, həˈrɛt ɪk/
noun
1.
a professed believer who maintains religious opinions contrary to those accepted by his or her church or rejects doctrines prescribed by that church.
2.
Roman Catholic Church. a baptized Roman Catholic who willfully and persistently rejects any article of faith.
3.
anyone who does not conform to an established attitude, doctrine, or principle.
adjective
4.
Origin of heretic
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English heretik < Middle French heretique < Late Latin haereticus < Greek hairetikós able to choose (Late Greek: heretical), equivalent to hairet(ós) that may be taken (verbal adjective of haireîn to choose) + -ikos -ic
Related forms
semiheretic, adjective, noun
Synonyms
1. apostate, backslider, recreant, protestant. 3. dissenter, skeptic, freethinker.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for heretic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then, heretic, you dare to say that the Bible is above the Church?

    The Last Look W.H.G. Kingston
  • Doctors of divinity said, "He is a heretic; he contradicts the Bible."

  • When a heretic was seized, the world abandoned him; his nearest friends durst not say a word in his defence.

  • But this Castro—this Andalou, who is nearly as bad as a heretic!

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • It may be said, of course, by our Presbyterian friends, that Dr. Briggs is a heretic; that he has been cast out of their church.

British Dictionary definitions for heretic

heretic

/ˈhɛrətɪk/
noun
1.
(mainly RC Church) a person who maintains beliefs contrary to the established teachings of the Church
2.
a person who holds unorthodox opinions in any field
Derived Forms
heretical (hɪˈrɛtɪkəl) adjective
heretically, adverb
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
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Word Origin and History for heretic
n.

mid-14c., from Old French eretique (14c., Modern French hérétique), from Church Latin haereticus, from Greek hairetikos "able to choose," the verbal adjective of hairein (see heresy).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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heretic in Culture

heretic definition


One who challenges the doctrines of an established church. Martin Luther was proclaimed a heretic for rejecting many of the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church.

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