Definition of apostasy in English:



mass noun
  • The abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief or principle.

    ‘the execution of their leader for apostasy brought widespread criticism’
    • ‘Excommunication would mean the church is getting rid of me, but when a Catholic decides to leave, it's called apostasy.’
    • ‘When lack of assent begins to appear, it may not indicate heresy or apostasy, but herald dramatic development.’
    • ‘This refrain must be one of the most lyrical expressions of political apostasy ever written.’
    • ‘To return to Tom's original point: his lamenting my apostasy now implies that I once indeed had the gift of salvation.’
    • ‘Many fear how this law [on apostasy and deviations], if passed and implemented, might be interpreted and applied by overzealous officials.’
    • ‘However, the reintroduction of true gospel doctrine into those periods of apostasy required a belief in continued divine revelation.’
    • ‘As the prosecutor called for the death penalty, accusing the editor of apostasy, the abandonment of the faith, the sentence appeared to have been a compromise.’
    • ‘They accuse him of apostasy - the renouncement of belief.’
    • ‘The state's criminalisation of apostasy is always subject to political manipulation and indicates an absolute negation of individual rights and freedom.’
    • ‘You may inform the Church that you are no longer a member by writing a letter of apostasy and sending it to the priest at the church where you were baptized.’
    • ‘I do not accept the charge of apostasy, because I have never in my adult life affirmed any belief, and what one has not affirmed one cannot be said to have apostasized from.’
    • ‘After discovering the manipulation of my passions for political ends, I committed apostasy and left my evangelical church.’
    • ‘To believe something with a perfect faith, to be incapable of apostasy, is a sign of fidelity to the group and loyalty to the cause.’
    • ‘It's not so much God versus Satan as a war between faith and doubt, between belief and apostasy.’
    • ‘Any verbal denial of any principle of Muslim belief is considered apostasy.’
    • ‘He imposed quotas on imported Japanese cars and saved Detroit, though he was denounced for apostasy and heresy.’
    • ‘On the contrary, they clearly conflict on issues of intra-group dissent such as proselytization, apostasy, heresy, and mandatory education.’
    • ‘No more death sentences for blasphemy or apostasy.’
    • ‘It is very difficult to find discussion of heresy or apostasy or even of dissent in Asian thought and literature.’
    • ‘Anyone seeking to leave the movement was declared an enemy of God and threatened with death for apostasy and desertion.’
    renunciation of belief, abandonment of belief, recantation
    View synonyms


Middle English: from ecclesiastical Latin apostasia, from a late Greek alteration of Greek apostasis ‘defection’.