Definition of sectarian in English:

sectarian

adjective

  • 1Denoting or concerning a sect or sects.

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

noun

  • 1A member of a sect.

    • ‘This, and not the subventions of hegemonic states, is what will ultimately defeat both the secular tyrannies and the religious sectarians.’
    • ‘Many colonists wondered if the Protestant sectarians might not be right.’
    • ‘Some time later he was arrested as a " religious sectarian " and put in prison.’
    • ‘One of the right's political accomplishments is bringing together diverse, once-hostile sectarians.’
    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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A person who rigidly follows the doctrines of a sect or other group.
      • ‘It's not just the radical white left or sectarians hawking papers for solidarity donations.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The, Church of England, it said, is like Christ crucified between two thieves, Papists on one side and Nonconformist sectarians on the other.’
      • ‘But Allende's radical sectarians must stand trial too, and for the same moral reasons.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

sectarian

/ˌsekˈterēən/