\ 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
c : faction

Definition of sect (Entry 2 of 2)

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 Bryant eventually founded his own polygamist sect, which Ron visited. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 27 May 2022 Marsha is on the lam from the airport police, her daughter’s sect of trampoline-bouncing enthusiasts and her own mother, who performs cosmetic surgery on pets. Mary Carole Mccauley, Baltimore Sun, 16 May 2022 The Kinane incident has since become legend, a cornerstone of the Des Moines comedy mythos that is embellished and passed down to new members of their sect in the wee hours when the empties stack up and the tales grow taller. Lee Keeler, SPIN, 10 May 2022 According to Bo-Katan, the Armorer’s sect of Mandalorians are a religious cult who broke away from mainstream Mandalorian society in order to reestablish their ancient warrior traditions. Los Angeles Times, 26 Jan. 2022 More than 200 miles away from the Fellowship’s base in Oregon House, Calif., the religious sect, which believes a higher consciousness can be achieved by embracing fine arts and culture, has also gained a foothold inside a business unit at Google. New York Times, 16 June 2022 Boric’s mother, María Soledad Font, of Catalan descent, is a former librarian and a member of a Catholic sect, the Movimiento Apostólico de Schoenstatt. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 6 June 2022 In a flashback, Ron (Sam Worthington) goes to Oregon to meet John Bryant, a convert to the LDS Church who later joined the fundamentalist Mormon sect Apostolic United Brethren. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 27 May 2022 Penny grew up in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Israel in a sect that closed itself off from wider society. Mailee Osten-tan, Longreads, 8 June 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for sect


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on sect

Nglish: Translation of sect for Spanish Speakers

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


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