sectarian

1 of 2

adjective

sec·​tar·​i·​an sek-ˈter-ē-ən How to pronounce sectarian (audio)
1
: of, relating to, or characteristic of a sect or sectarian
2
: limited in character or scope : parochial
sectarianism noun

sectarian

2 of 2

noun

1
: an adherent of a sect
2
: a narrow or bigoted person

Examples of sectarian in a Sentence

Adjective The country was split along sectarian lines. there are people on both the left and the right who have staked out unyielding sectarian positions in this debate Noun charged that the work of Congress has been stymied by sectarians who are indifferent to reason and intolerant of compromise
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
During and after the 30 years of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, known as the Troubles, the Palestinians’ struggle for liberation was seen by its residents through the prism of their own conflict. Eoin McSweeney, CNN, 29 Mar. 2024 The ancient Hindu festival eschews the religious, societal, caste and political divisions that underpin India’s often sectarian society. Hari Kumar, New York Times, 22 Mar. 2024 The decades of sectarian bloodshed over Northern Ireland, known as the Troubles, had many backstories before peace accords were reached in 1998 to mostly end the fighting that claimed more than 3,500 lives. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, 20 Mar. 2024 Ireland and Northern Ireland also have a close working relationship in business, despite sectarian troubles in the past. The Arizona Republic, 17 Mar. 2024 But such a war would pit a Shiite alliance in the north against Sunni forces in the south, inflaming sectarian rivalries and drawing in jihadists from other countries. Robert F. Worth, The Atlantic, 5 Mar. 2024 Detective Inspector Deehan, noting both the freshness of the body and its geographic location — near the border of County Tyrone, a sectarian hot spot during the Troubles — said investigators consulted with the commission examining cases of the Disappeared when the body was first discovered. Ali Watkins, New York Times, 29 Feb. 2024 Shaw left Kashmir as a teenager in the early 1990s, after sectarian violence flared. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 1 Mar. 2024 Although sectarian divisions have long played a prominent part in Middle Eastern conflicts, the drivers are often misunderstood. Toby Matthiesen, Foreign Affairs, 9 Feb. 2024
Noun
People want to get rid of religious parties, people want to put sectarians behind to build an Iraq for all Iraqis. Foreign Affairs, 22 May 2015 Both sides insist the other initiated the initial volley of gunfire that killed four agents and six sectarians. Joshua Alston, Variety, 12 Apr. 2023 Quite the contrary, the image of the cross makes the war memorial sectarian. Robert Barnes, Anchorage Daily News, 20 June 2019 Lebanon’s unique sectarian make up and place in the region make its politics about local issues like jobs, infrastructure, and garbage collection as well as about regional rivalries and alliances. Ben Hubbard, BostonGlobe.com, 7 May 2018 And so, there was the odd spectacle of the Irish Times religion reporter, Patsy McGarry, ringing in the 2016 with an editorial suggesting that Rising leaders Patrick Pearse and James Connolly were poisonous Catholic sectarians. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 1 Nov. 2017 As a result, Sunni sectarians across the region concluded that Obama’s United States was on the side of the Shia. Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, 21 May 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sectarian.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

1649, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1819, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sectarian was in 1649

Dictionary Entries Near sectarian

Cite this Entry

“Sectarian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sectarian. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

sectarian

1 of 2 adjective
sec·​tar·​i·​an sek-ˈter-ē-ən How to pronounce sectarian (audio)
1
: of, relating to, or characteristic of a sect or sectarian
2
: not willing to consider other points of view
a sectarian mind
sectarianism noun

sectarian

2 of 2 noun
1
: a member of a sect
2
: a person who won't consider the ideas or opinions of others

More from Merriam-Webster on sectarian

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