What does secular mean?

Definitions for secular
ˈsɛk yə lərsec·u·lar

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word secular.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. layman, layperson, secularadjective

    someone who is not a clergyman or a professional person

  2. secularadjective

    of or relating to the doctrine that rejects religion and religious considerations

  3. worldly, secular, temporaladjective

    characteristic of or devoted to the temporal world as opposed to the spiritual world

    "worldly goods and advancement"; "temporal possessions of the church"

  4. profane, secularadjective

    not concerned with or devoted to religion

    "sacred and profane music"; "secular drama"; "secular architecture", "children being brought up in an entirely profane environment"

  5. secularadjective

    of or relating to clergy not bound by monastic vows

    "the secular clergy"

  6. laic, lay, secularadjective

    characteristic of those who are not members of the clergy

    "set his collar in laic rather than clerical position"; "the lay ministry"


  1. secularadjective

    Not specifically religious.

  2. secularadjective

    Temporal; something that is worldly or otherwise not based on something timeless.

  3. secularadjective

    Not bound by the vows of a monastic order.

    secular clergy in Catholicism

  4. secularadjective

    Happening once in an age or century.

    The secular games of ancient Rome were held to mark the end of a saeculum and the beginning of the next.

  5. secularadjective

    Continuing over a long period of time, long-term.

  6. secularadjective

    Of or pertaining to long-term non-periodic irregularities, especially in planetary motion.

  7. secularadjective

    Unperturbed over time.

  8. Etymology: saecularis, from saeculum

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. SECULARadjective

    Etymology: secularis, Latin; seculier, French.

    This in every several man’s actions of common life, appertaineth unto moral; in publick and politick secular affairs, unto civil wisdom. Richard Hooker.

    Then shall they seek t’ avail themselves of names,
    Places, and titles; and with these to join
    Secular pow’r, though feigning still to act
    By spiritual. John Milton, Paradise Lost.

    Those northern nations easily embraced the religion of those they subdued, and by their devotion gave great authority and reverence, and thereby ease to the clergy both secular and regular. William Temple.

    In France vast numbers of ecclesiasticks, secular and religious, live upon the labours of others. Addison.

    The secular year was kept but once in a century. Addison.


  1. secular

    Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin saeculum, "worldly" or "of a generation"), is the state of being unrelated or neutral in regards to religion. Anything that does not have an explicit reference to religion, either negatively or positively, may be considered secular. Linguistically, a process by which anything becomes secular is named secularization, though the term is mainly reserved for the secularization of society; and any concept or ideology promoting the secular may be termed secularism, a term generally applied to the ideology dictating no religious influence on the public sphere.


  1. secular

    Secular refers to things that are not connected with religious or spiritual matters. It can refer to secular activities, institutions, philosophies, or viewpoints that exist separately from religion. It can also signify neutrality or indifference towards religion. In terms of governance, secular is often used to describe a state that is neutral in matters of religion, and treats all its citizens equally regardless of religion.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Secularadjective

    coming or observed once in an age or a century

  2. Secularadjective

    pertaining to an age, or the progress of ages, or to a long period of time; accomplished in a long progress of time; as, secular inequality; the secular refrigeration of the globe

  3. Secularadjective

    of or pertaining to this present world, or to things not spiritual or holy; relating to temporal as distinguished from eternal interests; not immediately or primarily respecting the soul, but the body; worldly

  4. Secularadjective

    not regular; not bound by monastic vows or rules; not confined to a monastery, or subject to the rules of a religious community; as, a secular priest

  5. Secularadjective

    belonging to the laity; lay; not clerical

  6. Secularnoun

    a secular ecclesiastic, or one not bound by monastic rules

  7. Secularnoun

    a church official whose functions are confined to the vocal department of the choir

  8. Secularnoun

    a layman, as distinguished from a clergyman

  9. Etymology: [OE. secular, seculer. L. saecularis, fr. saeculum a race, generation, age, the times, the world; perhaps akin to E. soul: cf. F. sculier.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Secular

    sek′ū-lar, adj. pertaining to an age or generation: coming or observed only once in a century: permanent: lay or civil, as opposed to clerical: (geol.) gradually becoming appreciable in the course of ages: pertaining to the present world, or to things not spiritual: not bound by monastic rules.—n. a layman: an ecclesiastic, as a parish priest, not bound by monastic rules.—n. Secularisa′tion, the state of being secularised.—v.t. Sec′ularise, to make secular: to convert from spiritual to common use.—ns. Sec′ularism; Sec′ularist, one who, discarding religious belief and worship, applies himself exclusively to the things of this life: one who holds that education should be apart from religion; Secular′ity, state of being secular or worldly: worldliness.—adv. Sec′ularly.—n. Sec′ularness. [L. secularisseculum, an age, a generation.]

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of secular in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of secular in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of secular in a Sentence

  1. Michael H. Hart:

    My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level.

  2. Zeng Cun:

    We have to take strides forward as a secular, modern country, but in some places in Kashgar from last year there are face veils and head coverings. This is equivalent to retreating back over the modern, secular strides we have taken. This is a cultural reverse.

  3. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel:

    As high as mind stands above nature, so high does the state stand above physical life. Man must therefore venerate the state as a secular deity. The march of God in the world, that is what the State is.

  4. Billy Graham:

    America's founding fathers did not intend to take religion out of education. Many of the nation's greatest universities were founded by evangelists and religious leaders; but many of these have lost the founders concept and become secular institutions. Because of this attitude, secular education is stumbling and floundering.

  5. Jeffrey Saut:

    I think we are in a secular bull market that has another eight to 10 years ahead of it.

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Translations for secular

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"secular." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 10 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/secular>.

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    the trait of lacking restraint or control; reckless freedom from inhibition or worry
    • A. recital
    • B. reciprocal
    • C. abandon
    • D. whitewash

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