a person who forsakes his religion, cause, party, etc.
of or characterized by apostasy.
Contemporary Examples

Because my passion so far has been exposing government-funded sacred cows and disrupting statist narratives, I am an apostate.
James O’Keefe in Defense of Taping Mitch McConnell, and Everyone Else James O’Keefe April 14, 2013

At first, he was sentenced to execution for being an apostate.
Wife of Jailed Saudi Blogger: My Husband Is a Victim of the Thought Police Ensaf Haidar, Advancing Human Rights October 19, 2014

An apostate and an atheist, she has rejected Islam as her personal creed, and she calls on Muslims, effectively, to do the same.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Controversial Call to Arms Tunku Varadarajan May 21, 2010

Godane rejects the idea of Al-Shabab negotiating with the Somali federal government, an “apostate government” he dubs it.
Ahmed Abdi Godane Is Al-Shabab’s Osama bin Laden Jamie Dettmer September 4, 2014

But the religious right would have none of it, declaring him a heretic and apostate.
Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer: Mourning Pakistan’s Slain Leader Fasih Ahmed January 3, 2011

Historical Examples

Give a brief description of Julian the apostate; tell why he was so called.
History of Rome from the Earliest times down to 476 AD Robert F. Pennell

The Gods have suspended their thunder over the head of the apostate.
Imogen William Godwin

Damasus restored all the catacombs, after they had been damaged during the persecution under Julian the apostate.
Museum of Antiquity L. W. Yaggy

An apostate from the condition of a pravajita or religious mendicant.
Hindu Law and Judicature Yjnavalkya

There was an apostate at Wothorpe in 1296 and two years later a nun of Harrold was found guilty of unchastity.
Medieval English Nunneries c. 1275 to 1535 Eileen Edna Power

a person who abandons his religion, party, cause, etc
guilty of apostasy

mid-14c., “one who forsakes his religion or faith,” from Old French apostate (Modern French apostat) and directly from Late Latin apostata, from Greek apostasia “defection, desertion, rebellion,” from apostenai “to defect,” literally “to stand off,” from apo- “away from” (see apo-) + stenai “to stand.” Used in non-religious situations (politics, etc.) from mid-14c.

late 14c.; see apostate (n.).


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  • Apostaxis

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    a marginal annotation or note. noun a marginal note

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