Meaning of heresiarch in English:


Pronunciation /hɛˈriːzɪɑːk/


  • The founder of a heresy or the leader of a heretical sect.

    ‘In its confrontation with heresiarchs, the Church learned to read the Scriptures in a way that should still inform us today.’
    • ‘So will there be wars of religion between orthodox Anglicans and heresiarchs in the break-away communions of North America?’
    • ‘When the convocation met there were a great many sermons preached by various learned and eloquent divines, but nothing was produced which was pronounced by the general voice a satisfactory answer to the doctrines of the heresiarch.’
    • ‘One friend, an unregenerate Chippewa heresiarch himself, commented, ‘They've sure got the right one this time.’’
    • ‘The followers of Pelagius, a wicked Welsh heresiarch, had murdered the rightful king and his son and installed Vortigern, ‘a Pelagianized traytor against his Soveraign’ on the throne.’


Mid 16th century via ecclesiastical Latin from ecclesiastical Greek hairesiarkhēs ‘leader of a sect’, from hairesis ‘heretical sect, heresy’ + arkhēs ‘ruler’.