Definition: Heresy

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From Middle English heresie, from Old French heresie (modern hérésie), from Latin haeresis, from Ancient Greek αἵρεσις or haíresis (choice, system of principles), from αἱρέομαι or hairéomai (to take for oneself, to choose), the middle voice of αἱρέω or hairéō (to take), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *ser-; (theft, raid), Ancient Greek στερέω or steréō (to deprive of).


heresy (countable and uncountable, plural heresies)

  1. A doctrine held by a member of a religion at variance with established religious beliefs.
  2. A controversial or unorthodox opinion held by a member of a group, as in politics, philosophy, or science.

Related terms

  • heretic
  • heretical


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