sec·u·lar·ism | \ˈse-kyə-lə-ˌri-zəm \

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 \ noun
secularist or less commonly secularistic \ˌse-kyə-lə-ˈri-stik \ adjective

Examples of secularism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Ince's rally in the coastal city of Izmir, a bastion of secularism, drew hundreds of thousands Thursday. Elena Becatoros And Zeynep Bilginsoy, Fox News, "Turkey heads to landmark presidential, parliamentary vote," 22 June 2018 Despite a very recent historical reputation as a corrupt sectarian warlord, Sadr today has emerged as Iraq’s standard bearer for secularism and reform. Thanassis Cambanis,, "How did Iraq’s Moqtada al-Sadr become a statesman? People just got used to him," 26 May 2018 Eventually, this sense of secularism as a central principle of any French republic led to the 1905 law that separates Church and State, mandating state neutrality toward religions and the religious neutrality of public employees. Karina Piser, The New Republic, "Inside France’s Growing Identity War," 29 May 2018 But, in the US, secularism and de-Christianization are gaining ground. Jacob Carozza,, "Cardinal O’Malley to deliver commencement address at St. Anselm College," 11 Apr. 2018 But D’Israeli wanted to abandon the religious tradition and turn to secularism. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "What if Napoleon Hadn’t Lost Europe and Other Questions of Alternate History," 14 June 2018 The divergent paths of Ireland and Poland show the bifurcating direction of the Catholic church in Europe, as its clergy on the continent seek to ride turbulent tides of secularism, nationalism, and the shifting focus of the Church itself. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "On Abortion Rights, Ireland Has Mirror Image in Conservative Poland," 28 May 2018 There’s a certain Nixon-goes-to-China element to Sadr’s turn to secularism. Thanassis Cambanis,, "How did Iraq’s Moqtada al-Sadr become a statesman? People just got used to him," 26 May 2018 Whereas Francis sees a focus on the poor as the church’s greatest hope, his predecessor, Benedict XVI, a German, saw secularism as the greatest threat to the church’s future. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "As Ireland Joins Europe’s Sprint From Catholic Fold, Francis Looks South," 27 May 2018

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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The first known use of secularism was in 1851

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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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Comments on secularism

What made you want to look up secularism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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