The dictionary defines apostate as one who has left a former belief system be it religious or political.
I became an apostate the moment my JW "study" conductor said I needed to write to my former church secretary and resign my membership there. I was told to include that I was going to become on of Jehovah's Witnesses in my resignation. According to the standard dictionary---I was now an apostate!
The men who run the WTS have made up their OWN definition, and JWs toss the word around like scattering henfood in a barnyard. It covers a LOT of ground while not actually penetrating very deeply. It is NOT a standard and accepted meaning of the word, but try and tell a JW that! It falls on deaf ears.
CULTS have words and terms that have one meaning....but when used by a cult member....have another entirely different meaning. They are said to be buzzwords that ONLY the cult member would recognize in a crowd of "normal thinking" people.
JWs think and reason like cult members simply because they are IN a cult.