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sect

Definitions of Sect

  1. (noun) A small part of a larger religious group that in comparison often has unorthodox political or religious views.
  2. (noun) Any group  within a larger group with distinct beliefs and practices that deviate from the larger group.

Sect Pronunciation

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /sɛk(t)/
    • British English
      • /sɛkt/
  • Syllabification: (sect)

Usage Notes

  • Plural: sects
  • Weber contended that sects typically transition to churches. Sect leaders often have charismatic authority. This charisma becomes attached or “reflected” into administrators with the group. This leads to the routinisation of charisma, leading to charismatic authority being replaced by traditional authority or rational-legal authority.
  • Sectarian violence is conflict between two sects.
  • A sect within a sect is a subsect or undersect.
  • Type: established sect
  • Also called:
    • faction
    • religious order
    • religious sect
    • splinter group

Additional Information

Related Terms


Works Consulted

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Cite the Definition of Sect

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “sect.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved October 17, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/sect/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

sect. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/sect/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “sect.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed October 17, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/sect/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“sect.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 17 Oct. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/sect/>.