Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An opinion or a doctrine at variance with established religious beliefs, especially dissension from or denial of Roman Catholic dogma by a professed believer or baptized church member.
  • n. Adherence to such dissenting opinion or doctrine.
  • n. A controversial or unorthodox opinion or doctrine, as in politics, philosophy, or science.
  • n. Adherence to such controversial or unorthodox opinion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A doctrine held by a member of a religion at variance with established religious beliefs, especially dissension from Roman Catholic dogma.
  • n. A controversial or unorthodox opinion held by a member of a group, as in politics, philosophy or science.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An opinion held in opposition to the established or commonly received doctrine, and tending to promote a division or party, as in politics, literature, philosophy, etc.; -- usually, but not necessarily, said in reproach.
  • n. Religious opinion opposed to the authorized doctrinal standards of any particular church, especially when tending to promote schism or separation; lack of orthodox or sound belief; rejection of, or erroneous belief in regard to, some fundamental religious doctrine or truth; heterodoxy.
  • n. An offense against Christianity, consisting in a denial of some essential doctrine, which denial is publicly avowed, and obstinately maintained.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Any doctrine, opinion, or set of opinions at variance with the established standards of any system, school of thought, or party; an opinion or a doctrine tending to create schism or division; an untenable or a disturbing doctrine of any kind, as in philosophy, science, politics, morality, etc.
  • n. Specifically, in theology, an opinion or a doctrine rejected by the authorities of a church as contrary to the established creed of that church; an interpretation or a theological view of a sacred writing or other standard of religion, or of any distinctive part of it, opposed to that authoritatively established or generally accepted: as, the antinomian heresy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion
  • n. any opinions or doctrines at variance with the official or orthodox position

Etymologies

Middle English heresie, from Old French, from Late Latin haeresis, from Late Greek hairesis, from Greek, a choosing, faction, from haireisthai, to choose, middle voice of hairein, to take.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French heresie (modern hérésie), from Latin haeresis, from Ancient Greek αἵρεσις (hairesis, "choice, system of principles"), from αἱρέομαι (haireomai, "to take for one’s self, to choose"), the middle voice of αἱρέω (haireō, "to take"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • G : purvadharana jevu ,, je prove nathi thayu , pan aj sachu chhe am mani ne chalavanu ,like laws , dharmik manyatao.

    March 24, 2013

  • Includes catharism and gnosticism.

    December 3, 2008