• WordNet 3.6
    • n heresy a belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion
    • n heresy any opinions or doctrines at variance with the official or orthodox position
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The Spanish Inquisition once condemned the entire Netherlands to death for heresy.
    • Heresy (Law) An offense against Christianity, consisting in a denial of some essential doctrine, which denial is publicly avowed, and obstinately maintained. "A second offense is that of heresy , which consists not in a total denial of Christianity, but of some its essential doctrines, publicly and obstinately avowed."
    • Heresy 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. "New opinions
      Divers and dangerous, which are heresies ,
      And, not reformed, may prove pernicious."
      "After the study of philosophy began in Greece, and the philosophers, disagreeing amongst themselves, had started many questions . . . because every man took what opinion he pleased, each several opinion was called a heresy ; which signified no more than a private opinion, without reference to truth or falsehood."
    • Heresy (Theol) 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. "Doubts 'mongst divines, and difference of texts,
      From whence arise diversity of sects,
      And hateful heresies by God abhor'd."
      "Deluded people! that do not consider that the greatest heresy in the world is a wicked life."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n heresy 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 heresy 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. To the Roman Catholic any opinion contrary to the teachings of his church, to the Protestant any opinion contrary to the accepted interpretation of the Scripture, is a heresy. The error must be held by a professed believer; pagan and infidel doctrines are not heresies. Roman Catholic divines distinguish between formal heresies, or tenets contrary to the doctrines of the church which are wilfully and pertinaciously held, and material heresies, or tenets that are heretical but are not so pertinaciously held as to involve the guilt of heresy.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Heresy her′e-si the adoption and maintaining opinions contrary to the authorised teaching of the religious community to which one naturally belongs: an opinion adopted for one's self in opposition to the usual belief: heterodoxy
    • ***


  • James Joyce
    “There is no heresy or no philosophy which is so abhorrent to the church as a human being.”
  • Eric Hoffer
    “A heresy can spring only from a system that is in full vigor.”
  • Hubert H. Humphrey
    “The difference between heresy and prophecy is often one of sequence. Heresy often turns out to have been prophecy -- when properly aged.”
  • Thomas H. Huxley
    “It is the fate of new truths to begin as heresies and end and superstitions.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. heresie, eresie, OF. heresie, iresie, F. hérésie, L. haeresis, Gr. a taking, a taking for one's self, choosing, a choice, a sect, a heresy, fr. to take, choose
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. heresie—L. hæresis—Gr. hairesishairein, to take.


In literature:

Their heresy rendered them obnoxious to the Church of Rome; and many of them suffered long imprisonment and torture for their faith.
"Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" by Charles Mackay
The belief that a man may work towards salvation is a universal heresy.
"Expositions of Holy Scripture" by Alexander Maclaren
The amount of heresy that is going on in this country, and particularly among ministers, is truly alarming.
"Peck's Sunshine Being a Collection of Articles Written for Peck's Sun, Milwaukee, Wis. - 1882" by George W. Peck
Moreover, he was a Whig, not a Radical; and he was even tainted with some economic heresy.
"The English Utilitarians, Volume II (of 3)" by Leslie Stephen
She, at least, is uninfect with heresy.
"It Might Have Been" by Emily Sarah Holt
If it stands that test it is no heresy.
"The Arena" by Various
This plain truth of God was damned as heresy!
"John Hus" by William Dallmann
He combated heresies and reclaimed heretics.
"Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 3 of 8" by Various
Heresy allowed the Christ to be banished from all the departments of human activity, except the home and the temple.
"The Art of Disappearing" by John Talbot Smith
In Bohemia, indeed, there had long been a predisposition to heresy.
"Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3)" by Thomas Babington Macaulay

In poetry:

"Great grace, as saith Sir Thomas More,
To him must needs be given
Who heareth heresy and leaves
The heretic to Heaven!
"A Spiritual Manifestation" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Such swearing and excess, O Wales!
Such shameful wrong in thee prevails,
Such sects, such heresies, and lies,
As ne'er before, since Christ, took rise.
"A Warning To The Welsh, To Repent, Wrote At The Time A Great Plague Rag'd In London" by Rees Prichard
The tale is one of an evil time,
When souls were fettered and thought was crime,
And heresy's whisper above its breath
Meant shameful scourging and bonds and death!
"How The Women Went From Dover" by John Greenleaf Whittier
See Reason bid each mystic wile retire,
Strike out new light! and mark!—the wise admire!
Zeal shall such heresy, like Learning, hate;
The same their glory, and the same their fate.
"An Epistle Of The Right Honourable Sir Robert Walpole" by Richard Savage
Patience, my heart! Error is quick, but Truth
Moves slowly, but moves surely up the earth,
Wiping from age the heresies of youth,
And kindling warmth on the once blasted hearth:
Patience, my heart! and rage will turn to ruth.
"Beatrice Di Tenda" by Walter Richard Cassels
The Angel of the Golden Reed hath found the measure strait'
He hears the Great Foundation plead for ampler wall and gate.
The living pillars of the Truth grown on from morn to morn,
And still the heresy of youth is age's creed outworn.
"Anniversary Hymn" by Katharine Lee Bates

In news:

Romney's liberal heresies on health care, gay rights, and abortion are well established.
Kobe Bryant vs Michael Jordan argument is no longer heresy .
Key Food manager under fire for holiday heresy .
Further, Iran and Saudi Arabia both claim to be Islamic states, but to each other they are heresies , he adds.
Love & Heresy in John Donne.
Friedman's ' heresy ' hits mainstream / Private Social Security accounts were his idea.
A National Treasure Flirts With Heresy .
The Bishop of Beauvais, Peter Cauchon, in whose jurisdiction she was captured, led her trial for heresy.
This is serious heresy, combined with a touch of felonious assault.
With an Obama victory, Wall Street pivots to plan B. Heresies of the Paintbrush.
Why should this be heresy.
To some this was considered heresy, an act akin to Philip Roth titling a novel The Bible.
In this church the transition between the heresy of the Arians and the restored Catholic religion can be clearly seen.
Some Heresies For The Sesquicentennial .
Although it may seem like heresy, given my profession, I have never had strong feelings about.

In science:

Finally, Cardano was thrown into prison by the inquisition for heresy, for making the horoscope of Christ[Guerlac, 2].
On the Complete Solution to the Most General Fifth Degree Polynomial
In the influential letter , this type of “heresy” was formulated as inspired by discussions with their predecessors and colleagues.
PT-symmetry, ghosts, supersymmetry and Klein-Gordon equation
To an audience of astroparticle physicists the suggestion that inflation might not be a necessary feature of our explanation of the universe is akin to heresy.
M Theory and Cosmology
In the next section, we will abandon this heresy and pursue a more orthodox path.
M Theory and Cosmology
These are the highest heresies available anywhere today in the software industry. None of these ideas make any sense from the software industry perspective.
Ten Incredibly Dangerous Software Ideas