American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A person who holds controversial opinions, especially one who publicly dissents from the officially accepted dogma of the Roman Catholic Church.
- adj. Heretical.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One who holds and persistently maintains an opinion or a doctrine at variance with the accepted standards of any school or party, and rejected or condemned by it; one who rejects a generally accepted belief.
- n. Specifically, in theology, a professed believer who adopts and persistently maintains religious opinions contrary to the accepted standards of his church. See heresy, 2.
- n. Synonyms Heretic, Schismatic, Sectary, Dissenter, Nonconformist. Heretic is an opprobrious epithet for a professed believer who holds religious opinions contrary to the established or dominant beliefs. A schismatic is one who seeks to sunder or divide into different organizations or parties those who are of essentially the same religious faith. A sectary or sectarian is one who sets the welfare of his own sect or denomination above that of the church universal, often pushing its interests at the cost of the general Christian welfare. This word has been much used opprobriously of those who stand out against an original or more powerful organization. A dissenter or nonconformist is one who dissents from an established religion, or does not conform to it; specifically and in actual use these words apply almost exclusively to those Protestants in Great Britain who worship apart from the Established Church of England, as the Presbyterians, Baptists, and Independents.
- Pertaining to heresy; believing heresy.
- n. Someone who, in the opinion of others, believes contrary to the fundamental tenets of a religion he claims to belong to.
- adj. archaic Heretical; of or pertaining to heresy or heretics.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. One who holds to a heresy; one who believes some doctrine contrary to the established faith or prevailing religion.
- n. (R. C. Ch.) One who having made a profession of Christian belief, deliberately and pertinaciously refuses to believe one or more of the articles of faith “determined by the authority of the universal church.”
- n. a person who holds unorthodox opinions in any field (not merely religion)
- n. a person who holds religious beliefs in conflict with the dogma of the Roman Catholic Church
- Middle English, from Old French eretique, from Medieval Latin haereticus, from Ancient Greek αἱρετικός (hairetikos, "able to choose, factious") (Wiktionary)
- Middle English heretik, from Old French heretique, from Late Latin haereticus, from Greek hairetikos, able to choose, factious, from hairetos, chosen, from haireisthai, to choose; see heresy. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The root meaning of the word heretic is “able to choose,” a fun fact I thought about a lot in 2002 when we stayed at the Hotel Ponte Sisto in Rome.”
“It may be well to note here the way in which the term heretic is to be understood in this declaration.”
“If by the term heretic we are to imply moral guilt, I am not justified in applying it to any Christian, unless his doctrines are positively sinful, or there is something wicked, either in the way of dishonesty or bitterness, in his manner of maintaining them.”
“BTW, you're last post used the word heretic, which is inconsistent with your previous posts.”
“RE: Matt, your word "heretic" is such a great choice because with AGW it truly seems, like most religions, to be those with faith against those without.”
“Of course, the label "heretic" is usually involved when that happens.”
“It is precisely because the Harvard deans of this world fear the opposite is true that they engage in heretic shaming.”
“And yes, one more ranting heretic is exactly what the internet needs!”
“A heretic is one who alters a self-contained and self-consistent body of ideas by accepting most of the basic tenets but denying some of them.”
“You have read that a man who, with patience, hears himself called heretic, can never be esteemed a good Christian.”
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