Definition of sect in English:


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  • 1A group of people with somewhat different religious beliefs (typically regarded as heretical) from those of a larger group to which they belong.

    ‘Christians had gone astray and corrupted the God's scriptures by dividing into different sects and beliefs.’
    • ‘Sadhus belong to many different sects or orders.’
    • ‘For instance, there were families, which did not mind much about the brides and bridegrooms belonging to different sects.’
    • ‘In the U.S., some Protestant fundamentalist sects still ban any shaking of your money maker.’
    • ‘She also turned to Catholicism and various Christian sects at this time in her search for truth.’
    • ‘He rattled off the names of various Muslim sects, both Shia and Sunni.’
    • ‘The teachings of these splinter sects did not catch on in any significant way among the Jews.’
    • ‘In fact there are groups of vampires that celebrate each religion, all sects of Christianity included.’
    • ‘Well, we are still bickering about the rights of the sects of Christianity within our constitution.’
    • ‘If small churches and dissenting sects thrived in the slums, the great current was active or passive disbelief.’
    • ‘Most of the Korean Buddhists sects were founded after the liberation from the Japanese in 1945.’
    • ‘The couple have become devotees of the mystical sect of Judaism - Kabbalah.’
    • ‘Christianity originated in the Middle East and was originally a sect of Judaism.’
    • ‘Did you know that Hasidic Jews are considered a mystical sect of Judaism?’
    • ‘Later, the contemplation on the nine stages became associated with the Zen sect that focused on meditation practice.’
    • ‘The main sects of the Islamic religion practiced in this region are Sunni and Shi'a.’
    • ‘One sect believes gay marriage is against religion, so ban it.’
    • ‘Now: imagine that X is not a religion, but a sect within a religion.’
    • ‘From about 100 to 337, the Church in the Empire remained an illegal and persecuted sect.’
    cult, religious cult, religious group, faith community, denomination, persuasion, religious order
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    1. 1.1often derogatory A group that has separated from an established Church; a nonconformist Church.
      ‘two of the older sects—the Congregationalists and the Baptists—were able to increase their membership dramatically’
      • ‘Scotland was chosen as the film's setting because of its fundamentalist religious sects and remote communities.’
      • ‘As Baptists, our beginnings are traced to dissenting sects of English and European Protestants.’
      • ‘The confused situation gave dissenting sects the opportunity to establish themselves.’
      • ‘Three chapters look at various abuses of power by the leaders of newly founded sects.’
      • ‘The result was an increasing number of breakaway sects, of which Buddhism and Jainism were probably the most successful.’
      cult, religious cult, religious group, faith community, denomination, persuasion, religious order
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2A philosophical or political group, especially one regarded as extreme or dangerous.
      ‘a sect of anarchists’
      • ‘They have tightened security measures to control the influence of extreme political sects among the uprooted multitudes.’
      • ‘This was undertaken by far-left groups - small Trotskyist and Maoist sects that were moving far ahead of the mainstream.’
      • ‘The dystopian political program of this utterly marginal, extremist sect has absolutely no traction with anyone of significance.’
      • ‘But his lecture was mainly aimed at a powerful sect called the middle-class liberals.’
      • ‘Similarly, those sect members already in Iceland wouldn't have been detained or had their movement restricted.’
      • ‘First, liberalism is the American sect of the international religion of socialism.’



/sekt/ /sɛkt/


Middle English from Old French secte or Latin secta, literally ‘following’, hence ‘faction, party’, from the stem of sequi ‘follow’.