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 Englishsecte < Latinsecta 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
Related formssub·sect, nounun·der·sect, nounCan be confusedsectssex
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.