- a body of persons adhering to a particular religious faith; a religious denomination.
- a group regarded as heretical or as deviating from a generally accepted religious tradition.
- (in the sociology of religion) a Christian denomination characterized by insistence on strict qualifications for membership, as distinguished from the more inclusive groups called churches.
- any group, party, or faction united by a specific doctrine or under a doctrinal leader.
Origin of sect
- a combining form with the meaning “cut,” used in the formation of compound words bisect, dissect, exsect.
Origin of -sect
Related Words for sectfaith, faction, creed, denomination, religion, church, cult, division, school, persuasion, group, camp, crew, connection, communion, team, following, party, wing, order
Examples from the Web for sect
Contemporary Examples of sect
It also resembles those of a 1st-century sect leader in Palestine who was also popular with the poor.Is India’s Fallen ‘God-Man’ So Different From a Megachurch Pastor?
November 21, 2014
On a 2,813-acre tract roughly 30 miles west, Washington found a Calvinist sect called the Seceders squatting on his land.Washington’s Wheeler-Dealer Patriotism
October 31, 2014
He was an Ahmadi, a minority Muslim sect that Pakistan has declared un-Islamic and against which it discriminates horribly.Why So Many Pakistanis Hate Their Nobel Peace Prize Winner
October 10, 2014
Perl loved all kinds of music, including rock and roll, growing up in the Chabad community, a sect of Hasidic Judaism.The Sisterhood of Bulletproof Stockings: It’s Ladies’ Night for Hasidic Rockers
September 30, 2014
Perhaps what the sect and its leader most teach us is the way some on the American and Israeli Right are desperate for allies.The Hedonistic, Possibly Holocaust-Denying Sect That’s Hoodwinking Republican Congressmen
April 19, 2014
Historical Examples of sect
There is no sect which does not claim more than all mankind can claim.The Conquest of Fear
Nor did we mention the sect of which, according to the Chief of Command, she was the head.Priestess of the Flame
Sewell Peaslee Wright
He was rather the head of a sect than the ruler of subjects.The Formation of Christendom, Volume VI
Thomas W. (Thomas William) Allies
The chroniclers were Buddhists belonging to the sect of the Buddha Gothama.The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ
Of Air infected with the fumes of burning Charcoal 129 Sect.Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air
- a subdivision of a larger religious group (esp the Christian Church as a whole) the members of which have to some extent diverged from the rest by developing deviating beliefs, practices, etc
- often derogatory
- a schismatic religious body characterized by an attitude of exclusivity in contrast to the more inclusive religious groups called denominations or Churches
- a religious group regarded as extreme or heretical
- a group of people with a common interest, doctrine, etc; faction
Word Origin for sect
- to cut or divide, esp into a specified number of partstrisect
Word Origin for -sect
Word Origin and History for sect
mid-14c., "distinctive system of beliefs or observances; party or school within a religion," from Old French secte, sete "sect, religious community," or directly from Late Latin secta "religious group, sect in philosophy or religion," from Latin secta "manner, mode, following, school of thought," literally "a way, road, beaten path," from fem. of sectus, variant past participle of sequi "follow," from PIE *sekw- (1) "to follow" (see sequel). Confused in this sense with Latin secta, fem. past participle of secare "to cut" (see section (n.)). Meaning "separately organized religious body" is recorded from 1570s.
A religious group, especially one that has separated from a larger group. Sect is often a term of disapproval.