sect

[ sekt ]
/ sɛkt /

noun

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

1300–50; Middle English secte < Latin secta something to follow, pathway, course of conduct, school of thought, probably noun derivative of sectārī to pursue, accompany, wait upon, frequentative of sequī to follow

OTHER WORDS FROM sect

sub·sect, nounun·der·sect, noun

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH sect

sects sex

Definition for sect (2 of 3)

-sect

a combining form with the meaning “cut,” used in the formation of compound words bisect, dissect, exsect.

Origin of -sect

< Latin sectus, past participle of secāre “to cut”

Definition for sect (3 of 3)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sect

British Dictionary definitions for sect (1 of 2)

sect
/ (sɛkt) /

noun

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
  1. a schismatic religious body characterized by an attitude of exclusivity in contrast to the more inclusive religious groups called denominations or Churches
  2. a religious group regarded as extreme or heretical
a group of people with a common interest, doctrine, etc; faction

Word Origin for sect

C14: from Latin secta faction, following, from the stem of sequī to follow

British Dictionary definitions for sect (2 of 2)

-sect

combining form

to cut or divide, esp into a specified number of partstrisect

Word Origin for -sect

from Latin sectus cut, from secāre to cut; see saw 1
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

Culture definitions for sect

sect

A religious group, especially one that has separated from a larger group. Sect is often a term of disapproval.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.