\ ˈsekt How to pronounce sect (audio) \

Definition of sect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a dissenting or schismatic religious body especially : one regarded as extreme or heretical
b : a religious denomination
2 archaic : sex sense 1 so is all her sect— William Shakespeare
3a : a group adhering to a distinctive doctrine or to a leader
b : party

Definition of sect (Entry 2 of 2)

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Synonyms for sect

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of sect in a Sentence

Noun one sect of medical researchers holds the minority view that the disease is not caused by that virus
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The play only brushes up against the topic here and there, but the Zakars grew up as Chaldean Catholics, a sub-sect with roots in ancient Assyria. Rod Stafford Hagwood,, "Review: 5 things to know about ‘Pray The Gay Away'," 24 Aug. 2019 Australian comedy-horror film about a man who belongs to a sect that hunts down demons on the internet.. Cary Darling |, Houston Chronicle, "New Films: ‘Dora and the Lost City of Gold,’ ‘Bring the Soul’," 8 Aug. 2019 Her daughter, India Oxenberg, was previously a subject of the NXIVM sect, led by Keith Raniere. Eric Todisco,, "E! True Hollywood Story Takes on NXIVM and Predicts Kim Kardashian Can Be President in New Promo," 22 Aug. 2019 Wu’ was a surname, or was derived from Wuxia [martial heroes] or Wu-Tang [a martial arts sect]. Karen Chu, The Hollywood Reporter, "‘Wu Assassins’ Director Stephen Fung Talks Netflix's First Martial Arts Original Series," 7 Aug. 2019 After the bitter 1975-1990 civil war, the balance between Shiites, Sunnis and Christians— the main sects among 18 official ones — preserves a stability that always seems on the verge of collapse, but, for the past decade at least, has not. Washington Post, "7 things to know about Lebanon’s parliament elections," 6 May 2018 Bradford was arrested and charged alongside his mother and brothers as part of a multi-crime gang investigation that involved dozens of shootings carried out between two sects of the Heartless Felons gang. Cory Shaffer,, "Appeals court overturns 2016 conviction of Cleveland man who declared innocence at sentencing," 12 Apr. 2018 Druze are an esoteric religious sect of Islamic origin, but characterized by an eclectic system of doctrines. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "It's Israel's election but here's why Donald Trump is the 'King of Israel'," 16 Sep. 2019 There is no central church, only various sects scattered around the country. Los Angeles Times, "At this Florida camp, believers can ask for healing or a chat with the dead," 2 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sect


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sect


Middle English secte, from Anglo-French & Late Latin & Latin; Anglo-French, group, faction, from Late Latin secta organized ecclesiastical body, from Latin, course of action, way of life, probably from sectari to pursue, frequentative of sequi to follow — more at sue

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Statistics for sect

Last Updated

2 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for sect

The first known use of sect was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for sect


How to pronounce sect (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sect

: a religious group that is a smaller part of a larger group and whose members all share similar beliefs
: a religious or political group that is connected to a larger group but that has beliefs that differ greatly from those of the main group


\ ˈsekt How to pronounce sect (audio) \

Kids Definition of sect

: a group within a religion which has a special set of teachings or a special way of doing things

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More from Merriam-Webster on sect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sect

Spanish Central: Translation of sect

Nglish: Translation of sect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sect for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sect

Comments on sect

What made you want to look up sect? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not being in agreement or harmony

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