sectarian

adjective
sec·​tar·​i·​an | \ sek-ˈter-ē-ən How to pronounce sectarian (audio) \

Definition of sectarian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of a sect or sectarian
2 : limited in character or scope : parochial

sectarian

noun

Definition of sectarian (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Other Words from sectarian

Adjective

sectarianism \ sek-​ˈter-​ē-​ə-​ˌni-​zəm How to pronounce sectarian (audio) \ noun

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 But on Friday, the largest Irish nationalist party, Sinn Fein, was on the cusp of being declared the territory’s largest party, a political watershed in a land long torn by sectarian violence. Mark Landler, New York Times, 6 May 2022 Under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that ended three decades of sectarian violence, the region’s administration must include representatives of both the largely Protestant pro-U.K. community and their mostly-Catholic Irish nationalist neighbors. Max Colchester, WSJ, 6 May 2022 Nearly a century later, Iraq remained too riven with ethnic and sectarian frictions to support anything resembling a Western-style democracy. Loren Thompson, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 The migration has stoked fears of a new wave of radical recruitment, taking advantage of frustration and despair fueled by the economic meltdown and sectarian tensions. Arkansas Online, 5 Feb. 2022 And despite the sweeping anti-government protests that led officials to push the vote up by a year, Iraq’s system of dividing up government ministries among political parties along ethnic and sectarian lines will remain unchanged. BostonGlobe.com, 11 Oct. 2021 And despite the sweeping anti-government protests that led officials to push the vote up by a year, Iraq’s system of dividing up government ministries among political parties along ethnic and sectarian lines will remain unchanged. New York Times, 10 Oct. 2021 Our guiding light is the memory of a more honorable past: a young, modern state with a glorious ancient tradition; a country that, at its finer moments, witnessed a spirit of partnership across ethnic and sectarian lines. Wisam Al-hardan, WSJ, 24 Sep. 2021 The conflict over access to land and water has further worsened the sectarian division between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation with its 206 million people deeply divided along religious lines. Chinedu Asadu, ajc, 12 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Quite the contrary, the image of the cross makes the war memorial sectarian. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, 20 June 2019 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 See More

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

First Known Use of sectarian

Adjective

1649, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1819, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for sectarian

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The first known use of sectarian was in 1649

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Dictionary Entries Near sectarian

sectarial

sectarian

sectarianize

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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sectarian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sectarian. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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