Definition of heretic in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈhɛrɪtɪk/


1A person believing in or practising religious heresy.
Example sentences
  • It clearly would cover any incitement of hatred by the religious against its heretics, apostates, or members of other faiths.
  • He was also an ardent heretic and freethinker, maybe an out-and-out atheist, and a vocal defender of the ideas of Charles Darwin.
  • The heretics Marcion and Valentinus believed that God was androgynous.
dissident, dissenter, nonconformist, unorthodox thinker, heterodox thinker, apostate, freethinker, iconoclast, schismatic, renegade;
separatist, sectarian, revisionist
archaic paynim
1.1A person holding an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted.
Example sentences
  • It is odd - odd in the extreme - that Barns, the iconoclast, the heretic, uncritically accepts the myths surrounding the birth of the Liberal Party propagated by the elders of the tribe.
  • They were not, according to an older version of history that Johnson appears to accept, merely heretics reacting against an established orthodoxy.
  • It enjoys demonising the elected representatives of the labour movement and treats its left critics as heretics to be cast aside and scorned.


Middle English: from Old French heretique, via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek hairetikos 'able to choose' (in ecclesiastical Greek, 'heretical'), from haireomai 'choose'.

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