adjective sec·u·lar \ˈse-kyə-lər\

: not spiritual : of or relating to the physical world and not the spiritual world

: not religious

: of, relating to, or controlled by the government rather than by the church

Full Definition of SECULAR

a :  of or relating to the worldly or temporal <secular concerns>
b :  not overtly or specifically religious <secular music>
c :  not ecclesiastical or clerical <secular courts> <secular landowners>
:  not bound by monastic vows or rules; specifically :  of, relating to, or forming clergy not belonging to a religious order or congregation <a secular priest>
a :  occurring once in an age or a century
b :  existing or continuing through ages or centuries
c :  of or relating to a long term of indefinite duration <secular inflation>
sec·u·lar·i·ty \ˌse-kyə-ˈla-rə-tē\ noun
sec·u·lar·ly \ˈse-kyə-lər-lē\ adverb

Examples of SECULAR

  1. Both secular and religious institutions can apply for the funds.
  2. <that's an issue for the secular authorities, not the church>
  3. Bloomberg, by contrast, would be the most pro-immigration, pro-free trade, pro-Wall Street candidate in the race. The third-party candidate he would most resemble is John Anderson, the fiscally responsible, culturally liberal Republican who ran as an Independent in 1980. Anderson won 7% of the vote, mostly among the young, educated and secular. But today those people are partisan Democrats. —Peter Beinart, Time, 11 Feb. 2008

Origin of SECULAR

Middle English, from Anglo-French seculer, from Late Latin saecularis, from saeculum the present world, from Latin, generation, age, century, world; akin to Welsh hoedl lifetime
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with SECULAR


noun sec·u·lar \ˈse-kyə-lər\
plural seculars or secular

Definition of SECULAR

:  an ecclesiastic (as a diocesan priest) not bound by monastic vows or rules :  a member of the secular clergy
:  layman

Origin of SECULAR

(see 1secular)
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Religion (Eastern and Other) Terms

Zen, antinomian, avatar, gnosticism, illuminati, ineffable, karma, koan, mantra
SECULAR Defined for Kids


adjective sec·u·lar \ˈse-kyə-lər\

Definition of SECULAR for Kids

:  not concerned with religion or the church <secular society> <secular music>
:  not belonging to a religious order <a secular priest>


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