Is sectarianly an acceptable adverb in the following sentence?

Northern Ireland is a sectarianly charged area of the world.

If not what can be used as an alternative adverb?

The word sectarianly is not listed at www.merriam-webster.com but mentioned at dictionary.com as a link to sectarian. In addition, the British National Corpus does not seem to have any results for it.

  • @Will Hunting Thanks Will, I mean that the society is charged emotionally by sectarian differences. Charged as in 'Charged with energy.' Not charged as in charged with a crime / accused etc. Thanks again. Mar 26 '12 at 10:33
  • Well, I understand it, but I'm British and have lived with the Troubles all my life. It's an acceptable colloquialism.
    – Andrew Leach
    Mar 26 '12 at 11:28

The problem is with trying to make an adverb out of sectarian. It just sounds horribly awkward. You could simply say

Northern Ireland is charged with sectarian tensions.

I think you can lose "area of the world" since this information is already known by everyone. But if you feel the need to emphasize that fact, you could say

Northern Ireland is an area of the world that is charged with sectarian tensions.

The key is to use sectarian as an adjective, not an adverb.


When you Google the word sectarianly (as I am sure you did), there are a few hits, including a blog called Sectarianly Yours and the definition you found.

I knew immediately what your sentence meant (there is much partisan or factional strife in Northern Ireland), so I think your sentence is grammatical and understandable.


I would go with religiously charged. You couldn't use religiously divided, I think, without implying that non-Christians were involved: but the tension is certainlty religiously based.

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