sec·​u·​lar·​ism ˈse-kyə-lə-ˌri-zəm How to pronounce secularism (audio)
: indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations
secularist noun
secularist adjective
or less commonly secularistic

Examples of secularism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Controversies over what should and should not be banned in France in the name of secularism have cropped up frequently in recent years, against the backdrop of worsening relations between French authorities and the French Muslim community. Annabelle Timsit, Washington Post, 29 Aug. 2023 But its situation is particularly acute, and Turkey might be the ultimate fence sitter, torn not only between various more powerful countries but also between autocracy and democracy, Europe and Eurasia, Western-leaning secularism and conservative nationalism. Asli Aydintasbas, Foreign Affairs, 11 Aug. 2023 What Modi has done is embrace the undoing of socialism but also very aggressively unravel the ideology of secularism. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 22 June 2023 Speaking in Canada’s historical Catholic heartland, where religious practice has plummeted in recent decades, the pope said Laval’s conciliatory approach to other cultures should be a model for the church today in addressing the challenge of secularism. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, 29 July 2022 On Thursday, the Conseil d’Etat upheld the French Football Federation’s ban on wearing any obvious religious symbols, in keeping with the country’s bedrock principle of laïcité, or secularism. Catherine Porter, New York Times, 2 July 2023 Nehru’s conception of nationalism was based very much on secularism and in part on socialism—and a certain kind of distance from the West, as part of a post-colonial mentality. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 22 June 2023 The New Criticism arose at Vanderbilt, in Nashville, where Davidson taught, and nearly all the first generation of New Critics were Southern partisans and Yankee-haters, opponents of secularism, liberalism, and modernity. Louis Menand, The New Yorker, 31 July 2023 The election was also driven by issues that have long polarized Turkish society, like the proper place for religion in a state committed to strict secularism. Gulsin Harman, New York Times, 14 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'secularism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1851, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of secularism was in 1851

Dictionary Entries Near secularism

Cite this Entry

“Secularism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


sec·​u·​lar·​ism ˈsek-yə-lə-ˌriz-əm How to pronounce secularism (audio)
: the belief that religion and religious considerations should be ignored
secularist noun
secularist adjective
also secularistic
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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