\ 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 But this changed about a decade ago when the leader of the 1,000-year-old sect, His Holiness The Gyalwang Drukpa, encouraged the nuns to learn Kung Fu. Annie Banerji, The Christian Science Monitor, "In Nepal, Kung Fu nuns climb Himalayas to aid needy," 10 Dec. 2020 Currently, Mendel is learning to be a rabbi for personal growth and knowledge, and not necessarily as a career, which is fairly common in his sect. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "This Rabbi-to-Be Teaches Torah Through Sneakers," 15 Oct. 2020 Cistercians are a sect of Benedictine Catholic monks named for the order’s original 11th-century establishment at Citeaux (Cistercium in Latin) in the Burgundy region of France, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Sourdough Bread Oven, ‘Air Freshener’ Found at Medieval Irish Monastery," 23 Sep. 2020 The wedding, organized by leaders of the Satmar sect, was the latest act of defiance against pandemic rules in Brooklyn’s Hasidic community, which health officials have cited for ignoring mask regulations and driving local spikes in the virus. Washington Post, "Hundreds without masks packed a Hasidic wedding in Brooklyn. The organizers face a $15,000 fine.," 25 Nov. 2020 Weeks after one prominent Satmar wedding was publicly called off amid a backlash over convening guests during the pandemic, members of the Hasidic Orthodox sect held another wedding in Brooklyn that brought together thousands of people. Philissa Cramer,, "Report: Satmar Orthodox Jews hid massive wedding from public view," 24 Nov. 2020 Another fabrication sowed by QAnon is that members of this deep state sect extract the chemical adrenochrome from the blood of their child victims and ingest it to extend their lives. Sarah Midkiff,, "How QAnon Went From A Fringe Conspiracy Theory To A Political Movement," 26 Oct. 2020 This number is more than the number of Presbyterians, a traditional Protestant sect. Helen A. Berger, The Conversation, "Halloween isn’t about candy and costumes for modern-day pagans – witches mark Halloween with reflections on death as well as magic," 29 Oct. 2020 Scholars believe that Siddhartha taught others and a sect, which came to be known as a Sangha. National Geographic, "Buddha's birthplace yields clues about his mysterious life," 1 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for sect

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

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Statistics for sect

Last Updated

25 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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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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