[sek-yuh-luh-riz-uh m]
  1. secular spirit or tendency, especially a system of political or social philosophy that rejects all forms of religious faith and worship.
  2. 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 formssec·u·lar·ist, noun, adjectivesec·u·lar·is·tic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for secularist

Contemporary Examples of secularist

Historical Examples of secularist

British Dictionary definitions for secularist


  1. philosophy a doctrine that rejects religion, esp in ethics
  2. the attitude that religion should have no place in civil affairs
  3. the state of being secular
Derived Formssecularist, noun, adjectivesecularistic, 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

Word Origin and History for secularist

1846, "one who theoretically rejects and ignores all forms of religion based on revelation;" see secularism + -ist. From 1851 as "one who maintains that public education and civil policy should be conducted without the introduction of a religious element." Related: Secularistic.



"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