Sect

Major denominations and religions of the world

A sect is a subgroup of a religious, political, or philosophical belief system, usually an offshoot of a larger group. Although the term was originally a classification for religious separated groups, it can now refer to any organization that breaks away from a larger one to follow a different set of rules and principles.

In an Indian context, sect refers to an organized tradition.[1]

Etymology

A Catalogue of the Severall Sects and Opinions in England and other Nations: With a briefe Rehearsall of their false and dangerous Tenents. Broadsheet. 1647

The word sect comes from the Latin noun secta (a feminine form of a variant past participle of the verb sequi, to follow[2]), meaning "a way, road", and figuratively a (prescribed) way, mode, or manner, and hence metonymously, a discipline or school of thought as defined by a set of methods and doctrines. The present gamut of meanings of sect has been influenced by confusion with the homonymous (but etymologically unrelated) Latin word secta (the feminine form of the past participle of the verb secare, to cut).[2]