- of or relating to worldly things or to things that are not regarded as religious, spiritual, or sacred; temporal: secular interests.
- not pertaining to or connected with religion (opposed to sacred): secular music.
- (of education, a school, etc.) concerned with nonreligious subjects.
- (of members of the clergy) not belonging to a religious order; not bound by monastic vows (opposed to regular).
- occurring or celebrated once in an age or century: the secular games of Rome.
- going on from age to age; continuing through long ages.
- a layperson.
- one of the secular clergy.
Origin of secular
- of or relating to worldly as opposed to sacred things; temporal
- not concerned with or related to religion
- not within the control of the Church
- (of an education, etc)
- having no particular religious affinities
- not including compulsory religious studies or services
- (of clerics) not bound by religious vows to a monastic or other order
- occurring or appearing once in an age or century
- lasting for a long time
- astronomy occurring slowly over a long period of timethe secular perturbation of a planet's orbit
- a member of the secular clergy
- another word for layman
Word Origin for secular
c.1300, "living in the world, not belonging to a religious order," also "belonging to the state," from Old French seculer (Modern French séculier), from Late Latin saecularis "worldly, secular, pertaining to a generation or age," from Latin saecularis "of an age, occurring once in an age," from saeculum "age, span of time, generation."
According to Watkins, this is probably from PIE *sai-tlo-, with instrumental element *-tlo- + *sai- "to bind, tie" (see sinew), extended metaphorically to successive human generations as links in the chain of life. Another theory connects it with words for "seed," from PIE root *se- "to sow" (see sow (v.), and cf. Gothic mana-seþs "mankind, world," literally "seed of men").
Used in ecclesiastical writing like Greek aion "of this world" (see cosmos). It is source of French siècle. Ancient Roman ludi saeculares was a three-day, day-and-night celebration coming once in an "age" (120 years). In English, in reference to humanism and the exclusion of belief in God from matters of ethics and morality, from 1850s.
Not concerned with religion or religious matters. Secular is the opposite of sacred.