Etymology
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set (n.1)
"collection of things," mid-15c., from Old French sette "sequence," variant of secte "religious community," from Medieval Latin secta "retinue," from Latin secta "a following" (see sect). "[I]n subsequent developments of meaning influenced by SET v.1 and apprehended as equivalent to 'number set together'" [OED]. The noun set was in Middle English, but only in the sense of "religious sect" (late 14c.), which likely is the direct source of some modern meanings, such as "group of persons with shared status, habits, etc." (1680s).

Meaning "complete collection of pieces" is from 1680s. Meaning "group of pieces musicians perform at a club during 45 minutes" (more or less) is from c. 1925, though it is found in a similar sense in 1580s. Set piece is from 1846 as "grouping of people in a work of visual art;" from 1932 in reference to literary works.
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Sabian (n.)

an adherent of a religious sect mentioned thrice in the Qu'ran (in which they are classified with Christians and Jews as monotheistic "true believers" tolerated by Muslims), 1610s, from Arabic, but a word of uncertain origin. As an adjective from 1748.

Perhaps the reference in the word is to a Gnostic sect akin to the later Mandæans (if the word derives, as some linguists think it does, from Arabic ch'bae "to baptize," Aramaic tzebha "he dipped, dyed"); but it has the appearance of derivation from the Semitic root of Hebrew tzabha "host, army" (see Sabaoth), and as the Sabians were thought to have been star-worshippers, the word was interpreted as referring to the "host of heaven." Related: Sabaism "star-worship" (Century Dictionary says Sabeanism is incorrect).

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Ismailite (n.)
also Ismaelite, 1570s, in reference to a Shi'ite Muslim sect, from Arabic Isma'iliy, the name of the sect that after 765 C.E. followed the Imamship through descendants of Ismail (Arabic for Ishmael), deceased eldest son of Jafar, the sixth Imam, rather than his surviving younger son.
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Hutterite (n.)
1640s in reference to Moravian Anabaptist sect established by Jacob Hutter (d. 1536) + -ite (1).
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Mennonite (n.)

member of a German Anabaptist sect, 1560s, from name of Menno Simons (1492-1559), founder of the sect in Friesland and chief exponent of its doctrines (adult baptism, refusal of oaths, civic offices, and support of the state in war), + -ite (1). As an adjective by 1727. Alternative form Mennonist (n.) is attested from 1640s.

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denomination (n.)

late 14c., denominacioun, "a naming, act of giving a name to," from Old French denominacion "nominating, naming," from Latin denominationem (nominative denominatio) "a calling by anything other than the proper name, metonymy," noun of action from past-participle stem of denominare "to name," from de- "completely" (see de-) + nominare "to name," from nomen "name" (from PIE root *no-men- "name").

From mid-15c. as "a class name, a collective designation," of things; of persons, "a society or collection of individuals," 1660s. From the first comes the monetary sense (1650s) from the second the meaning "religious sect" (1716).

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Shiite (n.)
1728, "a member of the Shia sect of Islam," from Shia + -ite (1), Latin-derived suffix denoting "follower."
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proselytism (n.)

"the act or practice of making converts to a religion, doctrine, creed, sect, etc.," 1650s, from proselyte + -ism.

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Jain (n.)
1805, from Hindi Jaina, from Sanskrit jinah "saint," literally "overcomer," from base ji "to conquer," related to jayah "victory." The sect dates from 6c. B.C.E.
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bugger (n.)

"sodomite," 1550s, earlier "heretic" (mid-14c.), from Medieval Latin Bulgarus "a Bulgarian" (see Bulgaria), so called from bigoted notions of the sex lives of Eastern Orthodox Christians or of the sect of heretics* that was prominent there 11c. Compare Old French bougre "Bulgarian," also "heretic; sodomite."

Softened secondary sense of "fellow, chap," is in British English "low language" [OED] from mid-19c. Meaning "something unpleasant, a nuisance" is from 1936. Related: Buggerly.

* The religious heretics in question were the Bogomils, whose name is a Slavic compound meaning "dear to God" (compare Russian bog "god") and might be a translation of Greek theophilos.

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