Definition of apostate in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈpäˌstāt/ Pronunciation: /əˈpästət/


A person who renounces a religious or political belief or principle.
Example sentences
  • We may earnestly believe that they're wrong - whether they're non-Christians, heretics, apostates, agnostics, atheists, or what have you.
  • If the term ‘Christian’ is taken to include heretics, schismatics, and baptized apostates, it would still appear that most are damned.
  • The importance of apostates and other religious dissidents is crucial.
dissenter, defector, deserter, traitor, backslider, turncoat;
archaic heretic
rare recusant, recreant, tergiversator


Abandoning a religious or political belief or principle.
Example sentences
  • Then, as now, there were apostate religious leaders; adultery, divorce, falsehood, oppression and cruelty were rife.
  • Ancient traditions regarding this apostate leader show that he rebelled against God, and in so doing, created a worldwide apostasy.
  • That said, however, I was not speaking of non-Christians or apostate Catholics in my blog.



Pronunciation: /ˌapəˈstatikəl/
Example sentences
  • The heresy and apostasy of the MP, like all apostatical movements in history, developed and deepened over time.
  • Its loss was almost as bad as the loss of Santa Claus, and certainly as tragic as the final collapse of the tooth fairy theology, and it moved me further along in my increasingly apostatical progress through life.
  • His counterpart, James Ussher, Protestant archbishop of Armagh from 1625, returned the compliment, drawing up with his fellow bishops in 1626 an uncompromising attack upon the Roman Catholic church declaring it to be superstitious, idolatrous, erroneous, heretical and apostatical.


Middle English: from ecclesiastical Latin apostata, from Greek apostatēs 'apostate, runaway slave'.

Words that rhyme with apostate


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: a·pos·tate

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