Definition of sectarian in English:

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Pronunciation: /sɛkˈtɛːrɪən/


1Denoting or concerning a sect or sects: the city’s traditional sectarian divide
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: sectarian killings
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: the sectarian Bolshevism advocated by Moscow
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.
factional, schismatic, cliquish, clannish, partisan, parti pris;
doctrinaire, dogmatic, extreme, fanatical, rigid, inflexible, bigoted, hidebound, narrow-minded


1A member of a sect: a Jewish sectarian who preached the redemption of the Gentiles
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.
separatist, dissenter, dissident, nonconformist, free thinker, renegade, recusant, schismatic, revisionist;
unbeliever, sceptic, agnostic, atheist, non-theist;
zealot, Young Turk, extremist, radical, activist, militant;
bigot, dogmatist, partisan, devotee
1.1A person who rigidly follows the doctrines of a sect or other group: he became a target as a sectarian who had apparently denounced one liberal-minded reformer as ‘degenerate’
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: /sɛkˈtɛːrɪənʌɪz/
(also sectarianise) verb
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.

Words that rhyme with sectarian

agrarian, antiquarian, apiarian, Aquarian, Arian, Aryan, authoritarian, barbarian, Bavarian, Bulgarian, Caesarean (US Cesarean), centenarian, communitarian, contrarian, Darien, disciplinarian, egalitarian, equalitarian, establishmentarian, fruitarian, Gibraltarian, grammarian, Hanoverian, humanitarian, Hungarian, latitudinarian, libertarian, librarian, majoritarian, millenarian, necessarian, necessitarian, nonagenarian, octogenarian, ovarian, Parian, parliamentarian, planarian, predestinarian, prelapsarian, proletarian, quadragenarian, quinquagenarian, quodlibetarian, Rastafarian, riparian, rosarian, Rotarian, sabbatarian, Sagittarian, sanitarian, Sauveterrian, seminarian, septuagenarian, sexagenarian, topiarian, totalitarian, Trinitarian, ubiquitarian, Unitarian, utilitarian, valetudinarian, vegetarian, veterinarian, vulgarian

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Line breaks: sect|ar¦ian

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