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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Her·e·sy n.; pl. Heresies
 1. 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.   --Shak.
    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.   --Hobbes.
 2. 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.   --Spenser.
    Deluded people! that do not consider that the greatest heresy in the world is a wicked life.   --Tillotson.
 3. 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.   --Blackstone.
 Note:“When I call dueling, and similar aberrations of honor, a moral heresy, I refer to the force of the Greek ░, as signifying a principle or opinion taken up by the will for the will's sake, as a proof or pledge to itself of its own power of self-determination, independent of all other motives.”