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See more synonyms for sectary on Thesaurus.com
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.
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Origin of sectary

1550–60; < Medieval Latin sectārius, equivalent to sect(a) sect + -ārius -ary
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for sectary

unbeliever, infidel, heretic, miscreant, skeptic, sectarian, nonconformist, separationist, iconoclast, dissident, dissenter, freethinker, apostate, revisionist, enthusiast, adherent, amateur, fanatic, fancier, fiend

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
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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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper