Definition: Secular

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English seculer, from Old French seculer, from Latin saeculāris (“of the age”), from saeculum.


secular (comparative more secular, superlative most secular)

  1. Not specifically religious.
  2. (Christianity) Not bound by the vows of a monastic order.
    secular clergy in Catholicism
  3. Temporal; something that is worldly or otherwise not based on something timeless.
  4. Happening once in an age or century.
    the secular games of ancient Rome
  5. Continuing over a long period of time, long-term.
    The long-term growth in population and income accounts for most secular trends in economic phenomena.
  6. Happening once in an age or century.
    The secular games of ancient Rome were held to mark the end of a saeculum and the beginning of the next.
    (finance) on a secular basis = over the long term
  7. (astrophysics) Of or pertaining to long-term non-periodic irregularities, especially in planetary motion.
  8. (atomic physics) Unperturbed over time.

Derived terms


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