sec·​u·​lar·​ism | \ ˈse-kyə-lə-ˌri-zəm How to pronounce secularism (audio) \

Definition of secularism

: indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations

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Other Words from secularism

secularist \ ˈse-​kyə-​lə-​rist How to pronounce secularist (audio) \ noun
secularist or less commonly secularistic \ ˌse-​kyə-​lə-​ˈri-​stik How to pronounce secularistic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of secularism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many Muslims and progressive Indians call the law a dangerous step toward marginalizing an already fearful community and a blatant violation of India’s long commitment to secularism and equality, which is enshrined in its constitution., "In Bangalore, Ramachandra Guha, a preeminent biographer of Mohandas Gandhi and a critic of the citizenship law, was midsentence in speaking to a reporter when helmeted police officers carrying sticks grabbed his arms and dragged him away. It was all captured on video.," 20 Dec. 2019 The Congress Party has been weak in its commitment to secularism. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "India’s Citizenship Emergency," 18 Dec. 2019 Opponents say the measure is unconstitutional and marks a break with India’s founding ethos of secularism. Washington Post, "Protests erupt across India against new citizenship law after police storm university campus," 16 Dec. 2019 So there is a decline not only from secularism and democracy in post-independence India but also in the understanding of the heritage even of Hindu India. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "Amartya Sen’s Hopes and Fears for Indian Democracy," 6 Oct. 2019 Christina Animashaun/Vox American secularism is on the rise. Karen Turner, Vox, "Secularism is on the rise, but Americans are still finding community and purpose in spirituality," 11 June 2019 These transformations were justified by secularism. Fay Bound Alberti, Quartz, "The problem with medicalizing loneliness," 25 Nov. 2019 In the years that followed, the notion of secularism became more abstract. Manveena Suri, CNN, "In secular India, it's getting tougher to be Muslim," 19 Nov. 2019 Today, as the five-judge bench of the supreme court ruled in favour of Hindu groups in the hotly contested land dispute, questions over the secularism of the Indian republic are burning more brightly than ever before. Sanaya Chandar, Quartz India, "Rajiv Gandhi: The man who opened a can of worms at the Babri mosque," 9 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'secularism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of secularism

1851, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for secularism

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The first known use of secularism was in 1851

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Statistics for secularism

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Secularism.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for secularism


How to pronounce secularism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of secularism

: the belief that religion should not play a role in government, education, or other public parts of society

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More from Merriam-Webster on secularism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with secularism

Nglish: Translation of secularism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of secularism for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about secularism

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