American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Worldly rather than spiritual.
- adj. Not specifically relating to religion or to a religious body: secular music.
- adj. Relating to or advocating secularism.
- adj. Not bound by monastic restrictions, especially not belonging to a religious order. Used of the clergy.
- adj. Occurring or observed once in an age or century.
- adj. Lasting from century to century.
- n. A member of the secular clergy.
- n. A layperson.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Celebrated or occurring once in an age or a century.
- Going on from age to age; accomplished or taking place in the course of ages; continued through an indefinite but long period of time; not recurrent or periodical, so far as known: as, secular change of the mean annual temperature; the secular cooling or refrigeration of the globe; the secular inequality in the motion of a planet. The last, however, is known to be periodical. It is called
secularbecause, being dependent on the position of the orbits of the disturbing and disturbed bodies, not on the positions of the planets in the orbits, its period is excessively long.
- Living for an age or ages; permanent.
- Of or pertaining to the things of time or of this world, and dissociated from or having no concern with religious, spiritual, or sacred matters or uses; connected with or relating to the world or its affairs; concerned with mundane or temporal matters; temporal; worldly; profane: as. secular affairs; the secular press; secular education; secular music.
- Lay, as opposed to clerical; civil. See def. 4.
- Living in the world, not in the cloister; hence, not bound by monastic vows or rules, nor subject to a monastic order: used especially of parish priests and other non-monastic clergy, as distinguished from the monastic or regular clergy.
- Synonyms Temporal, etc. see worldly.
- n. l. A layman.
- n. An ecclesiastic, such as a parish priest, who lives in the world and not in a monastery, is not subject to any monastic order or rule, and is bound only to celibacy; a secular priest: opposed to religious or regular.
- n. An unordained church officer.
- adj. Not specifically religious.
- adj. Temporal; something that is worldly or otherwise not based on something timeless.
- adj. Christianity Not bound by the vows of a monastic order.
- adj. Happening once in an age or century.
- adj. Continuing over a long period of time, long-term.
- adj. literary Centuries-old, ancient.
- adj. astrophysics Of or pertaining to long-term non-periodic irregularities, especially in planetary motion.
- adj. atomic physics Unperturbed over time.
- n. A secular ecclesiastic, or one not bound by monastic rules.
- n. A church official whose functions are confined to the vocal department of the choir.
- n. A layman, as distinguished from a clergyman.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Coming or observed once in an age or a century.
- adj. Pertaining to an age, or the progress of ages, or to a long period of time; accomplished in a long progress of time.
- adj. 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.
- adj. (Eccl.) Not regular; not bound by monastic vows or rules; not confined to a monastery, or subject to the rules of a religious community.
- adj. Belonging to the laity; lay; not clerical.
- n. (Eccl.) A secular ecclesiastic, or one not bound by monastic rules.
- n. (Eccl.) A church official whose functions are confined to the vocal department of the choir.
- n. A layman, as distinguished from a clergyman.
- adj. of or relating to clergy not bound by monastic vows
- adj. not concerned with or devoted to religion
- adj. characteristic of or devoted to the temporal world as opposed to the spiritual world
- adj. characteristic of those who are not members of the clergy
- n. someone who is not a clergyman or a professional person
- adj. of or relating to the doctrine that rejects religion and religious considerations
- Latin saecularis ("of the age"), from saeculum (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French seculer, from Late Latin saeculāris, from Latin, of an age, from saeculum, generation, age. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“In their campaigns, new political groups have replaced the term "secular government" with "civil government" to try to finesse the issue.”
“But Mr. Erdogan's use of the term "secular" runs counter to Egyptian Islamists' conception of Islamic-minded governance, said Essam El Erian, vice president of the Brotherhood's newly formedpolitical party, Freedom and Justice.”
“The phrase "secular stagnation" fell from their lips in the 1940s, even on the eve of the great postwar boom.”
“I should clarify as well; when I use the term secular, I do not mean to imply that Crossan is an atheist or some variant.”
“That Harvey Cox suggested by the term secular city.”
“Frankly, I would think that many here take the title secular humanist as quite accurate.”
“The term secular humanist is applied to someone who concentrates on human activities and possibilities, usually downplaying or denying the importance of God and a life after death.”
“Nabil Abdel Fattah, political analyst at Al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies, said the term "secular" has been "transformed into a defiled, vilified term.”
“The term secular is generally used to mean "worldly, as differentiated from ecclesiastical.”
“Side note: The word "secular" was -- and is -- bandied about quite frequently in these circles, though I'm fairly certain the majority of us using it didn't really know what it meant.”
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