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[sek-yuh-luh-riz-uh m] /ˈsɛk yə ləˌrɪz əm/
secular spirit or tendency, especially a system of political or social philosophy that rejects all forms of religious faith and worship.
the view that public education and other matters of civil policy should be conducted without the introduction of a religious element.
Origin of secularism
First recorded in 1850-55; secular + -ism
Related forms
secularist, noun, adjective
secularistic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for secularism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Had she not always been strongly biased in favor of secularism?

    We Two Edna Lyall
  • What do they know about the thousand difficulties which have driven people into secularism?

    We Two Edna Lyall
  • Complacency cannot understand reverence, nor secularism, religion.

    The Approach to Philosophy Ralph Barton Perry
  • Any departure from them in an institution, proves its secularism.

  • What connection does he discover between secularism and selfishness?

    Flowers of Freethought George W. Foote
British Dictionary definitions for secularism


(philosophy) a doctrine that rejects religion, esp in ethics
the attitude that religion should have no place in civil affairs
the state of being secular
Derived Forms
secularist, noun, adjective
secularistic, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for secularism

"doctrine that morality should be based on the well-being of man in the present life, without regard to religious belief or a hereafter," 1846, from secular + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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