One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.‘secular buildings’Contrasted with sacred‘secular moral theory’
non-religious, lay, non-church, temporal, worldly, earthly, profaneView synonyms
- ‘Her quest for the big answer leads her to accept Confucianism and nonreligious Buddhism as well as secular humanism.’
- ‘The truth is that, the milieu in which Popper grew up was militantly secular.’
- ‘With all this talk of Christianity, it is easy to imagine government becoming less secular.’
- ‘Seven years earlier, France had erected a government that was intended to be purely secular.’
- ‘To the contrary, the Court found that the School Board sought to advance two secular purposes.’
- ‘Since that time, however, the French Canadian community has become more secular.’
- ‘Since that time, Bangladesh has been both less socialistic and less secular.’
- ‘Most of the hoopla connected with the year 2000 was predominantly secular in origin and character.’
- ‘Primary education, having become universal and largely public, became overwhelmingly secular.’
- ‘Some of the more secular trends in humanism dared to defend happiness in the here and now.’
- ‘Meanwhile, the attitudes of the younger generation are largely secular and wised up.’
- ‘Over time, however, the values of psychotherapy have made inroads into religious as well as secular culture.’
- ‘He argues for more state funding of religious institutions within an increasingly secular society.’
- ‘No law says that advertisements have to be purely secular - except the law of supply and demand.’
- ‘What sort of meaning does marriage have in our modern secular society?’
- ‘Nowadays, of course, Christmas is a largely secular affair.’
- ‘But it did guarantee that in time American politics would largely become a secular matter.’
- ‘Although it had some religious overtones, Carnival has become a purely secular event.’
- ‘I agree that education should be essentially secular.’
- ‘So why in this secular age is a spiritual movement that seeks to eradicate the ‘self’ gaining ground?’
(of clergy) not subject to or bound by religious rule; not belonging to or living in a monastic or other order.Contrasted with regular
- ‘Individuals were chosen from different orders and secular clergy, but primarily they came from the Dominican Order.’
- ‘The rate of recruitment is probably better than that of the secular clergy, but this may be because a large percentage of the monks do not go on to priesthood.’
- ‘The secular clergy from nearby parishes recruited maidens from needy or troubled homes.’
- ‘Overall the role of regulars was diminished and that of secular clergy and even laymen enhanced.’
- ‘As the author notes, Maria's case was championed by the Jesuits, while her doubters were the secular or parish clergy.’
Of or denoting slow changes in the motion of the sun or planets.
(of a fluctuation or trend) occurring or persisting over an indefinitely long period.‘there is evidence that the slump is not cyclical but secular’
- ‘There are also other secular trends that are generating ominous forecasts about the prospects for much of the Third World.’
- ‘But the weakness in the U.S. manufacturing sector does not reflect a simple secular trend.’
- ‘But if one focuses on the company's positive secular trends, the picture is different.’
- ‘A few weeks ago, I opined that the market probably had reverted to the primary secular trend.’
- ‘There are three spikes, but the secular trend is pretty obvious: down, down, down.’
5Occurring once every century or similarly long period (used especially in reference to celebratory games in ancient Rome).
A secular priest.
- ‘To the seculars, this text suggested that the group of Apostles was accustomed to holding a purse in common, and that they used the money from it both to maintain themselves and to give alms.’
- ‘Most priests were seculars, living in the world and working amongst ordinary people.’
- ‘Meanwhile, and without overt religious logic, the regime plundered the church, taxing the seculars heavily while abolishing the regular orders entirely and confiscating their wealth.’
- ‘In their dealings with the seculars, Marist clergy mistakenly gave the impression that they were ‘empire building’.’
- ‘Since 90 per cent of clerical émigrés were seculars, the loss of parish clergy was not far short of a half.’
Middle English: secular (sense 1 of the adjective, from Old French seculer, from Latin saecularis, from saeculum ‘generation, age’, used in Christian Latin to mean ‘the world’ (as opposed to the Church); secular (sense 3 of the adjective, secular sense 4 of the adjective, secular sense 5 of the adjective) (early 19th century) from Latin saecularis ‘relating to an age or period’.
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