sectarian

adjective
sec·​tar·​i·​an | \ sek-ˈter-ē-ən \

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

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Other Words from sectarian

Adjective

sectarianism \ sek-​ˈter-​ē-​ə-​ˌni-​zəm \ 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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The journalists were making a documentary about the mysterious activities of a group of paramilitary mercenaries in the Central African Republic, which is undergoing brutal sectarian strife. Ivan Nechpurenko, The Seattle Times, "3 Russian journalists killed in Central African Republic," 31 July 2018 As the Burmese teacher S.N. Goenka has noted, the Buddha didn’t teach a sectarian religion, but rather a way of life, a tool for achieving clarity, peace of mind, and liberation from suffering. Eliza Barclay, Vox, "The growth of yoga and meditation in the US since 2012 is remarkable," 11 Nov. 2018 His state, meanwhile, is becoming more narrowly sectarian as Alawite (his sect), Shia and Christian minorities start to take over property abandoned by the fleeing Sunnis (see article). The Economist, "Syrian refugees could turn into the new Palestinians," 30 June 2018 So the regime stoked sectarian tensions to divide the opposition. The Economist, "How a victorious Bashar al-Assad is changing Syria," 28 June 2018 But the atrocities committed by IS against fellow Sunnis, the hard-fought national campaign against the extremist group and new rifts among the dominant Shiite blocs seem to have eased the sectarian tensions that marked past votes. Fox News, "Iraqi vote offers chance to chart post-IS future," 8 May 2018 In the Middle East, Putin stands for an alternative to American hegemony, transcending sectarian divisions. Washington Post, "How the Kremlin turned the Russian president into a global icon," 12 July 2018 The protection of minorities would be in question, since his Mahdi Army has played a key role in fueling Iraq’s sectarian conflicts. James Muldoon, Time, "Iraq Just Got Its Own Version of Donald Trump," 21 May 2018 The next prime minister will then face the daunting task of stabilizing a nation scarred by ISIS' rise and still plagued by sectarian division at a critical juncture in its history. Ben Wedeman, CNN, "Iraq elections: Voters head to the polls at critical time," 12 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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, "Elections in Lebanon boost Hezbollah’s clout," 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, "The Next Lost Cause," 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, "Trump Complies Perfectly With the Saudi Line," 21 May 2017

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.

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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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Learn More about sectarian

Dictionary Entries near sectarian

sect

secta

sectarial

sectarian

sectarianize

sectarism

sectarist

Statistics for sectarian

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sectarian

The first known use of sectarian was in 1649

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More Definitions for sectarian

sectarian

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of sectarian

: relating to religious or political sects and the differences between them

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Comments on sectarian

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