Definition of sectarian in US English:

sectarian

adjective

  • 1Denoting or concerning a sect or sects.

    ‘ethnic and sectarian differences’
    • ‘And the peace process itself entrenches the sectarian division between Protestant and Catholic.’
    • ‘We can point, randomly, to instances that fuelled the fire of sectarian hatred.’
    • ‘Today those closest to our violent past seem to dominate the political landscape and many remain entranced by sectarian concerns.’
    • ‘At the Agreement's heart was a Stormont Assembly that institutionalised the sectarian divide.’
    • ‘In northern Iraq, sectarian tensions are also escalating in the wake of the referendum.’
    • ‘And like any church, Adventism of course has its sectarian movements and offshoots.’
    • ‘Sadr's decision will also exacerbate sectarian tensions between the Sunni and Shiite elite.’
    • ‘The demonstration spanned the city's traditional sectarian divide, with marchers coming from every area.’
    • ‘Occasionally, sectarian concerns discouraged both Protestants and Catholics from attending branches.’
    • ‘They have been forced to hire devotees of sectarian Orthodoxy, who inevitably influence the religious orientation of their students.’
    • ‘One way to avoid any kind of sectarian essentializing leading to religious fanaticism is to read these texts in comparative and inclusive ways.’
    • ‘The truth is that Northern Ireland is a state which nurtures sectarian divide and rule.’
    • ‘Well first of all I don't think of religion at all in sectarian terms.’
    • ‘The truth is that the Orange Order can no longer parade in a nakedly sectarian and triumphalist fashion.’
    • ‘With a separatist impulse, fundamentalism turned inward; but the sectarian subculture that coalesced was resourceful and vibrant.’
    • ‘This movement transcended religious and sectarian divisions and was determined to end the US-led occupation.’
    • ‘Socialist politics are the only way to break down sectarian divisions.’
    • ‘But, after the earliest period, sectarian denominations became less and less important.’
    • ‘There is no room for petty insularity and sectarian nonsense - the Scots must see themselves as nimble enough to change and take on the world's best.’
    • ‘But it has been pursued with the same sectarian, thuggish, and ultimately self-defeating spirit.’
    1. 1.1 (of an action) carried out on the grounds of membership of a sect, denomination, or other group.
      ‘a sectarian attack’
      • ‘Meanwhile, three police officers were injured when sectarian rioting erupted on the streets of north Belfast on Sunday night.’
      • ‘On Baghdad's streets, rumors are rife about renegade ministry of interior death squads, carrying out sectarian killings.’
      • ‘I agree that sectarian clashes are a curse and there is need to bring these to an end.’
      • ‘They have carried out several sectarian murders and launched hundreds of pipe-bomb and blast bombs attacks on Catholic homes.’
      • ‘The IRA carried out retaliatory sectarian murders.’
      • ‘Even amid the worst sectarian violence, boxers here had a kind of diplomatic immunity.’
      • ‘Random sectarian killings slowed and more IRA men were bumped off.’
      • ‘At least 300 people have been killed in the Poso sectarian conflicts.’
      • ‘But when sectarian dominance in any form has reared its ugly head, things have been bad.’
      • ‘The press charged that the statement contained the same poisons that ignite sectarian strife.’
      • ‘Chomsky himself has made some of the most deplorable, petty and doubtless sectarian attacks of any leftist I know.’
      • ‘Where sectarian activity can be proven among a club's support you suspend the club's licence.’
      • ‘Had she ever been involved in any sectarian conflict when she was growing up?’
      • ‘Their focus has been on Kashmir or on domestic sectarian violence.’
      • ‘Sectarian conflict is the deliberate consequence of foreign intervention.’
      • ‘And as political questions move down the agenda, so cultural and purely sectarian conflicts have risen to the fore.’
      • ‘The results exposed deepening sectarian polarisation between nationalist and unionist voters.’
      • ‘It would unleash bloodshed, sectarian violence and regional instability - the very things that the invasion and occupation themselves have produced.’
      • ‘Access to the school had been the focus of a bitter sectarian dispute last year lasting over four months.’
      • ‘He and his gang were planning to carry out random sectarian assassinations on Catholics in Belfast.’
    2. 1.2 Rigidly following the doctrines of a sect or other group.
      • ‘We are still in the process of ensuring that this armament is not sectarian in nature.’
      • ‘By implication, black feminism is cast as sectarian in comparison with radical or socialist feminism.’
      • ‘Each religion educates its young in a sectarian way, for religionists believe that to learn one specific path is sufficient and necessary.’
      • ‘Furthermore, a significant percentage of those organizations have been pervasively sectarian and used religious criteria in their hiring.’
      factional, schismatic, cliquish, clannish, partisan, parti pris
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noun

  • 1A member of a sect.

    • ‘One of the right's political accomplishments is bringing together diverse, once-hostile sectarians.’
    • ‘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
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    1. 1.1 A person who rigidly follows the doctrines of a sect or other group.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But Allende's radical sectarians must stand trial too, and for the same moral reasons.’
      • ‘The, Church of England, it said, is like Christ crucified between two thieves, Papists on one side and Nonconformist sectarians on the other.’
      • ‘It's not just the radical white left or sectarians hawking papers for solidarity donations.’
      activist, extremist, radical, enthusiast, supporter, follower, devotee, young turk, zealot, fanatic, partisan
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Origin

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

Pronunciation

sectarian

/ˌsekˈterēən//ˌsɛkˈtɛriən/