VS.

Sect vs. Cult

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Sectnoun

An offshoot of a larger religion; a group sharing particular (often unorthodox) political and/or religious beliefs.

‘A religious sect.’;

Cultnoun

A group or sect of people with a religious, philosophical or cultural identity, often existing on the margins of society or exploitative towards its members.

Sectnoun

A group following a specific ideal or a leader.

Cultnoun

Devotion to a saint.

Sectnoun

(obsolete) A cutting; a scion.

Cultnoun

A religion that evolved out of another religion but has become a different religion through developing a radically different theology.

‘Mormonism is a cult of Christianity because it evolved out of Christianity and claims to be Christian but rejects parts of the Bible and other foundational doctrines of the Christian religion.’;

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Sectnoun

A cutting; a scion.

Cultnoun

(informal) A group of people having an obsession with or intense admiration for a particular activity, idea, person or thing.

Sectnoun

Those following a particular leader or authority, or attached to a certain opinion; a company or set having a common belief or allegiance distinct from others; in religion, the believers in a particular creed, or upholders of a particular practice; especially, in modern times, a party dissenting from an established church; a denomination; in philosophy, the disciples of a particular master; a school; in society and the state, an order, rank, class, or party.

‘He beareth the sign of poverty,And in that sect our Savior saved all mankind.’; ‘As of the sect of which that he was born,He kept his lay, to which that he was sworn.’; ‘The cursed sect of that detestable and false prophet Mohammed.’; ‘As concerning this sect [Christians], we know that everywhere it is spoken against.’;

Cultadjective

Of or relating to a cult.

Sectnoun

a subdivision of a larger religious group

Cultadjective

Enjoyed by a small, loyal group.

‘a cult horror movie’;

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Sectnoun

a dissenting clique

Cultnoun

Attentive care; homage; worship.

‘Every one is convinced of the reality of a better self, and of the cult or homage which is due to it.’;

Sect

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.

Cultnoun

A system of religious belief and worship.

‘That which was the religion of Moses is the ceremonial or cult of the religion of Christ.’;

Cultnoun

A system of intense religious veneration of a particular person, idea, or object, especially one considered spurious or irrational by traditional religious bodies; as, the Moonie cult.

Cultnoun

The group of individuals who adhere to a cult (senses 2 or 3).

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Cultnoun

A strong devotion or interest in a particular person, idea or thing without religious associations, or the people holding such an interest; as, the cult of James Dean; the cult of personality in totalitarian societies.

Cultnoun

adherents of an exclusive system of religious beliefs and practices

Cultnoun

an interest followed with exaggerated zeal;

‘he always follows the latest fads’; ‘it was all the rage that season’;

Cultnoun

a system of religious beliefs and rituals;

‘devoted to the cultus of the Blessed Virgin’;

Cultnoun

a system of religious veneration and devotion directed towards a particular figure or object

‘the cult of St Olaf’;

Cultnoun

a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or as imposing excessive control over members

‘a network of Satan-worshipping cults’;

Cultnoun

a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular thing

‘the cult of the pursuit of money as an end in itself’;

Cultnoun

a person or thing that is popular or fashionable among a particular group or section of society

‘a cult film’; ‘the series has become a bit of a cult in the UK’;

Cult

In modern English, a cult is a social group that is defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or by its common interest in a particular personality, object, or goal. This sense of the term is controversial, having divergent definitions both in popular culture and academia, and has also been an ongoing source of contention among scholars across several fields of study.

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