[n. her-i-tik; adj. her-i-tik, huh-ret-ik]
a professed believer who maintains religious opinions contrary to those accepted by his or her church or rejects doctrines prescribed by that church.
Roman Catholic Church. a baptized Roman Catholic who willfully and persistently rejects any article of faith.
anyone who does not conform to an established attitude, doctrine, or principle.

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

semiheretic, adjective, noun

1. apostate, backslider, recreant, protestant. 3. dissenter, skeptic, freethinker. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
heretic (ˈhɛrətɪk)
1.  chiefly 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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 14c., from Fr. hérétique (14c.), from Church L. hereticus, from Gk. hairetikos "able to choose," the verbal adj. of hairein (see heresy).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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Example sentences
Both sides demand that politicians not give into the heretics.
The faithful are the heretics in their pronouncements and worthy of scorn,
  derision and perhaps expulsion from university.
Heretics are members of the church or faith with which they disagree and thus
  distinct from non-believers.
His later companionship with heretics will prolong his own adherence to error.
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