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

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Other Words from sectarian

Adjective

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

Each page of the Daily Star bore a single phrase referring to one of Lebanon's problems, including government deadlock and increasing sectarian rhetoric. Washington Post, "World Digest: Aug. 8, 2019," 8 Aug. 2019 Subsequent to the vote the age-old sectarian divide began to once more rear its ugly head. K. V. Turley, National Review, "Border Posts and Border Ghosts," 1 July 2019 Paramilitary gangs on both sides of the sectarian divide are active in organised crime. The Economist, "Twenty years after a peace deal the mood is sour in Northern Ireland," 28 Mar. 2018 Money flowed for radical Buddhist groups that cheered on sectarian rioting in which Muslims died. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "‘Our Duty to Fight’: The Rise of Militant Buddhism," 8 July 2019 Granted, the country is not Lebanon or Iraq, riven by sectarian feuds. The Economist, "Pyramid scheme," 6 July 2019 Anyone paying attention can see a conflict driven by sectarian radicals. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: When it comes to Trump and Iran, it’s easy to see wisdom of the Framers," 29 June 2019 The state Supreme Court said no state aid could go toward sectarian education. Louise Radnofsky, WSJ, "Supreme Court to Review Trump Effort to Cancel DACA," 28 June 2019 Wasn’t the money from the deal to be used to save his factory in Belfast (undermined by Thatcher’s miserly policies), which was providing jobs for a beleaguered people and helping to ease ongoing sectarian violence? Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "In Focus: Back to a future that didn’t go according to plan," 20 June 2019

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, "SCOTUS: Cross honoring military can remain on public land," 20 June 2019 Quite the contrary, the image of the cross makes the war memorial sectarian. Robert Barnes, Anchorage Daily News, "Supreme Court rules that giant cross honoring military dead can remain on public land," 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, "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

11 Aug 2019

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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