|1.||a subdivision of a larger religious group (esp the Christian Church as a whole) the members of which have to some extent diverged from the rest by developing deviating beliefs, practices, etc|
|a. a schismatic religious body characterized by an attitude of exclusivity in contrast to the more inclusive religious groups called denominations or Churches|
|b. a religious group regarded as extreme or heretical|
|3.||a group of people with a common interest, doctrine, etc; faction|
|[C14: from Latin secta faction, following, from the stem of sequī to follow]|
A religious group, especially one that has separated from a larger group. Sect is often a term of disapproval.
(Gr. hairesis, usually rendered "heresy", Acts 24:14; 1 Chr. 11:19; Gal. 5:20, etc.), meaning properly "a choice," then "a chosen manner of life," and then "a religious party," as the "sect" of the Sadducees (Acts 5:17), of the Pharisees (15:5), the Nazarenes, i.e., Christians (24:5). It afterwards came to be used in a bad sense, of those holding pernicious error, divergent forms of belief (2 Pet. 2:1; Gal. 5:20).