Meaning of SECULAR in English


I. adjective

also saec·u·lar ˈsekyələ(r)

Etymology: Middle English, alteration influenced by Late Latin saecularis ) of seculer, from Old French, from Late Latin, saecularis secular, worldly, pagan, from Latin, coming or observed once in an age, from saeculum breed, generation, age + -aris -ar; akin to Welsh hoedl lifetime, Lithuanian sėkla seed, Latin serere to sow — more at sow


a. : of or relating to the worldly or temporal as distinguished from the spiritual or eternal : not sacred : mundane

secular affairs

secular occupations

b. : not overtly or specifically religious

secular rites

secular music

secular drama

c. : of or relating to the state as distinguished from the church : civil

secular courts

secular jurisdiction

the champion of the secular power — A.J.Toynbee

d. : of or relating to the laity as distinguished from the clergy : nonclerical , lay

the secular landowners

secular benefactors

e. : not formally related to or controlled by a religious body

the greater number of secular than denominational schools in the country

f. : rationally organized around impersonal and utilitarian values and patterns and receptive to new traits

our modern industrialized secular society

— contrasted with sacred

g. : of, relating to, or advocating secularism : secularist

an enlightened secular humanism — H.N.Fairchild

the disenchantment of absolute faiths which expresses itself in the secular outlook of modern man — Louis Wirth


a. : living in the world : not living in a monastery or religious community : not bound by monastic vows or rules

a secular priest

the secular clergy

— opposed to regular ; compare monk 1

b. : of or relating to clergy not bound by monastic vows

secular vestments


[Latin saecularis ]

a. : coming or observed once in an age or a century

secular phenomena

b. : existing or continuing through ages or centuries : agelong , centuried , diuturnal

secular oaks

secular enmities

c. : of or relating to a long-enduring process

secular change

regions of the earth's surface where … slow secular movements of the crust are still in progress — Endeavour

d. : taking place within a century

secular fluctuation

the secular variation in an astronomical position

e. : requiring or taking ages (as for operation or completion)

secular forces

the improvement of man is secular — John Tyndall

f. : of or relating to a long term of indefinite duration

the secular trend of prices

a secular increase in the quantity of money is required in a growing economy — Milton Friedman

— compare cyclical 2

g. : recurring at intervals greater than one year

secular cycles in population pressure

Synonyms: see profane

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English seculer, from Old French, from seculer, adjective

1. : a secular ecclesiastic (as a parish priest)

2. : layman

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.