sec·​u·​lar·​ize | \ ˈse-kyə-lə-ˌrīz How to pronounce secularize (audio) \
secularized; secularizing

Definition of secularize

transitive verb

1 : to make secular
2 : to transfer from ecclesiastical to civil or lay use, possession, or control
3 : to convert to or imbue with secularism

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Other Words from secularize

secularization \ ˌse-​kyə-​lə-​rə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce secularization (audio) \ noun
secularizer noun

Examples of secularize in a Sentence

attempts to secularize the government The government secularized the hospital.
Recent Examples on the Web At one point, Alito argued that a religious symbol like the Latin cross—a symbol indisputably linked to Christianity and its fundamental beliefs—can be secularized. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Neil Gorsuch Scorns the “Offended” Atheists," 21 June 2019 The sweeping 1930s reforms of Ataturk secularized the building and brought museum status; today partially cleaned mosaics peek out from the plaster with glints of gold along the high upper gallery. National Geographic, "This heavenly building served as both church and mosque," 22 Mar. 2019 Albania was the first country to legally secularize, in 1912—while focusing lovingly, melancholically, on the human experience of totalitarianism. Josephine Livingstone, New Republic, "The Ghosts of Totalitarianism," 10 Jan. 2018 And as those experiments intensified and secularized in succeeding centuries, the death toll expanded exponentially. George Weigel, National Review, "The Catholic Journey to Religious Freedom," 20 Dec. 2017 Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Armenian, Ottoman—which were more pronounced before Ataturk, the republic's founder, turned his country, seemingly in the blink of an eye, into a secularized, Westernized nation-state in 1923. Mary Kaye Schilling, Town & Country, "Incredible Art, Centuries-Old Spas, and How to Get the Best Deals at the Grand Bazaar: Istanbul Like You've Never Seen Before.," 15 Sep. 2015 The conservative fixation on evil, with sin as the subtext, is a symptom not only of religious hypocrisy but also of more secularized corruption. Sarah Jones, New Republic, "Why Republicans Blamed the Las Vegas Massacre on “Evil”," 9 Oct. 2017 The building was secularized during the French Revolution and designated as a burial space for exceptional French citizens. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "France’s Simone Veil Will Become the Fifth Woman Buried in the Panthéon," 5 July 2017 As Europe has secularized, Poland has remained a deeply Catholic country. James Traub, New York Times, "The Party That Wants to Make Poland Great Again," 2 Nov. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'secularize.' 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 secularize

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for secularize

Time Traveler for secularize

The first known use of secularize was in 1611

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More Definitions for secularize


How to pronounce secularize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of secularize

: to take religion out of (something) : to make (something) secular
: to transfer the ownership or control of (something) from a religious organization to the state

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