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[sek-tuh-ree] /ˈsɛk tə ri/
noun, plural sectaries.
a member of a particular sect, especially an adherent of a religious body regarded as heretical or schismatic.
a Protestant of nonconformist denomination, especially a minor one.
a person zealously devoted to a particular sect.
Origin of sectary
1550-60; < Medieval Latin sectārius, equivalent to sect(a) sect + -ārius -ary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sectary
Historical Examples
  • In form, he was certainly an Episcopalian, though not a sectary of that denomination.

    The Pioneers James Fenimore Cooper
  • He appears on the stage as a sectary, and plays his part with resolute energy.

    From the Easy Chair, vol. 1 George William Curtis
  • Such is the contrast between the sectary and the philosopher.

    How to Observe Harriet Martineau
  • When he dons the garb of the sectary, he naturally becomes weakened, and loses his chief charm.

    John Greenleaf Whittier W. Sloane Kennedy
  • Thus it will be seen that Wanless, though in his way a profoundly religious man, was in no sense a sectary.

    The Life of Thomas Wanless, Peasant Alexander Johnstone Wilson
  • No wonder, thought I, that the doctor called Mr. Gerard a sectary, and that Mr. Long was so cold and distant in his manner!

  • But this sense, once ascertained to the mind of the sectary, was to be taken for pure truth—for the very word of God.

  • Persecution has the same effect in politics, that it has in religion; it confirms the sectary.

  • M. Combes is a sectary, a renegade seminarist given over to Freemasonry.

    The War Upon Religion Rev. Francis A. Cunningham
  • If we really thought he came hither as a man and not a sectary, for instance, it were pity of our life.

    From the Easy Chair, vol. 1 George William Curtis
British Dictionary definitions for sectary


noun (pl) -taries
a member of a sect, esp a person who belongs to a religious sect that is regarded as heretical or schismatic
a person excessively devoted to a particular sect
a member of a Nonconformist denomination, esp one that is small
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin sectārius, from Latin sectasect
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sectary

"member or adherent of a sect," 1550s, from French sectaire or directly from Medieval Latin sectarius, from secta (see sect).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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