• synonyms


verb (used with object), sec·u·lar·ized, sec·u·lar·iz·ing.
  1. to make secular; separate from religious or spiritual connection or influences; make worldly or unspiritual; imbue with secularism.
  2. to change (clergy) from regular to secular.
  3. to transfer (property) from ecclesiastical to civil possession or use.
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Also especially British, sec·u·lar·ise.

Origin of secularize

First recorded in 1605–15; secular + -ize
Related formssec·u·lar·i·za·tion, nounsec·u·lar·iz·er, nouno·ver·sec·u·lar·i·za·tion, nouno·ver·sec·u·lar·ize, verb (used with object), o·ver·sec·u·lar·ized, o·ver·sec·u·lar·iz·ing.un·sec·u·lar·ized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for secularized

Historical Examples

  • They were secularized, and ultimately degraded for the most part into burlesque.

    The Science of Fairy Tales

    Edwin Sidney Hartland

  • The number of Roman parishes, too, was reduced, and all the convents were secularized.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte

    William Milligan Sloane

  • The see was secularized in 1802 and in 1803 assigned to Bavaria.

  • If you keep it up for another week, you'll have to send me off to New York to get secularized.

    A Pessimist

    Robert Timsol

  • The missions were secularized in 1834, and the orchards fell into decay.

British Dictionary definitions for secularized



verb (tr)
  1. to change from religious or sacred to secular functions, etc
  2. to dispense from allegiance to a religious order
  3. law to transfer (property) from ecclesiastical to civil possession or use
  4. English legal history to transfer (an offender) from the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts to that of the civil courts for the imposition of a more severe punishment
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Derived Formssecularization or secularisation, nounsecularizer or seculariser, noun
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 secularized



1610s, of property, offices, etc., from secular + -ize. From 1711 as "to become worldly;" from 1846 of education, social institutions, etc. Related: Secularized; secularizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper