Definition of sectarian in English:


Syllabification: sec·tar·i·an
Pronunciation: /sekˈte(ə)rēən


  • 1Denoting or concerning a sect or sects: ethnic and sectarian differences
    More example sentences
    • But, after the earliest period, sectarian denominations became less and less important.
    • Occasionally, sectarian concerns discouraged both Protestants and Catholics from attending branches.
    • Today those closest to our violent past seem to dominate the political landscape and many remain entranced by sectarian concerns.
  • 1.1(Of an action) carried out on the grounds of membership of a sect, denomination, or other group: a sectarian attack
    More example sentences
    • On Baghdad's streets, rumors are rife about renegade ministry of interior death squads, carrying out sectarian killings.
    • The IRA carried out retaliatory sectarian murders.
    • They have carried out several sectarian murders and launched hundreds of pipe-bomb and blast bombs attacks on Catholic homes.
  • 1.2Rigidly following the doctrines of a sect or other group.
    More example sentences
    • By implication, black feminism is cast as sectarian in comparison with radical or socialist feminism.
    • Furthermore, a significant percentage of those organizations have been pervasively sectarian and used religious criteria in their hiring.
    • We are still in the process of ensuring that this armament is not sectarian in nature.


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  • 1A member of a sect.
    More example sentences
    • This, and not the subventions of hegemonic states, is what will ultimately defeat both the secular tyrannies and the religious sectarians.
    • Some time later he was arrested as a " religious sectarian " and put in prison.
    • Many colonists wondered if the Protestant sectarians might not be right.
  • 1.1A person who rigidly follows the doctrines of a sect or other group.
    More example sentences
    • The, Church of England, it said, is like Christ crucified between two thieves, Papists on one side and Nonconformist sectarians on the other.
    • Even after the Reformation extreme sectarians despised Anglican clergy as ‘magicians, sorcerers, enchanters’.
    • Unlike his predecessor, who was seen as ecumenical, Benedict is seen as a sectarian who will not reach out to other religions.



Pronunciation: /-ˌnizəm/
More example sentences
  • The song projects lofty human ideals and nothing of religious sectarianism or exclusivism.
  • To essentially claim that he is no better than the Liberals or Tories is plain sectarianism.
  • In religion as in politics, sectarianism covers a multitude of sins.


More example sentences
  • Evidently the desire to collect information on the degree and nature of sectarianised habituation remains negligible.
  • They are asking the local community to sectarianise the education system and increasingly the community is letting them!
  • It has also been predicated on the emergence of modern republicanism severed from a wider social base by the sectarianised social relations that have defined society in Northern Ireland.


mid 17th century: from sectary + -an, reinforced by sect.

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