sec·​u·​lar·​i·​za·​tion ˌse-kyə-lə-rə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce secularization (audio)
: the act or process of making something secular or of becoming secular : removal from ecclesiastical or clerical use or influence
… the secularization of the convent next to his house on the Connecticut shore …William R. Everdell
Because of this disarming of church and clergy, when the young people of New England began to kick up their heels in the last decades of the eighteenth century there was no church power to do more than scold them. The real sexual revolution in early America was the secularization of morality.Edmund S. Morgan
The current model of school secularization is built on the premise that the removal of controversial worldview perspectives produces a neutral secular school.Craig S. Engelhardt

Examples of secularization in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Conservative Sunni Muslim countries often see the kingdom, the birthplace of Islam, as the bulwark against Western secularization. Iqbal Akhtar, The Conversation, 25 July 2023 David Campbell, a Notre Dame professor who studies secularization and secular people, questioned Del Turco’s conclusion. Joy Ashford, Dallas News, 4 Aug. 2023 Both the secularization of the country and the counter-reaction to that secularization are reflections, in different ways, of a country founded on ideals of faith and freedom. Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, 27 Mar. 2023 Despite the religious right’s worries about secularization, few of those young Americans who have departed Christianity identify as atheist or agnostic. The Salt Lake Tribune, 18 Sep. 2022 Those are among the major findings of a new report from the Pew Research Center regarding America’s religious future — a future where Christianity, though diminished, persists while non-Christian faiths grow amid rising secularization. The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 Sep. 2022 In Lebanon, forces from outside the country have always stoked confessional tensions to the detriment of the country’s secularization. Mark Farha, Foreign Affairs, 10 Dec. 2019 Church leaders cite a variety of factors for the decline, including the growing secularization of Western society. WSJ, 26 Mar. 2022 In The Innocence of Pontius Pilate, David Lloyd Dusenbury argues that the trial of Jesus by Pontius Pilate helped bring about modern secularization and the split between church and state. Nathaniel Peters, National Review, 17 Feb. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'secularization.' 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

1699, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of secularization was in 1699

Dictionary Entries Near secularization

Cite this Entry

“Secularization.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

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