See more synonyms for sectary on
noun, plural sec·ta·ries.
  1. a member of a particular sect, especially an adherent of a religious body regarded as heretical or schismatic.
  2. a Protestant of nonconformist denomination, especially a minor one.
  3. 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sectary

Historical Examples of sectary

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for sectary


noun plural -taries
  1. a member of a sect, esp a person who belongs to a religious sect that is regarded as heretical or schismatic
  2. a person excessively devoted to a particular sect
  3. a member of a Nonconformist denomination, esp one that is small

Word Origin for sectary

C16: from Medieval Latin sectārius, from Latin secta sect
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

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