Secular vs Secularism - What's the difference?

secular | secularism | Related terms |

Secular is a related term of secularism.

As nouns the difference between secular and secularism

is that secular is a secular ecclesiastic, or one not bound by monastic rules while secularism is a position that religious belief should not influence public and governmental decisions.

As a adjective secular

is not specifically religious.



Alternative forms

* (archaic)


(en adjective)
  • Not specifically religious.
  • Temporal; something that is worldly or otherwise not based on something timeless.
  • (Christianity) Not bound by the vows of a monastic order.
  • secular clergy in Catholicism
  • 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.
  • 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.
    ''on a secular basis
  • * 2006 , The Economist, Economics focus: Dividing the pie
  • The skewed distribution of productivity gains is thus less a new phenomenon than a secular trend.
  • (literary) Centuries-old, ancient.
  • * 1899 ,
  • The long reaches that were like one and the same reach, monotonous bends that were exactly alike, slipped past the steamer with their multitude of secular trees looking patiently after this grimy fragment of another world, the forerunner of change, of conquest, of trade, of massacres, of blessings.
  • (astrophysics) Of or pertaining to long-term non-periodic irregularities, especially in planetary motion.
  • (atomic physics) Unperturbed over time.
  • * 2000 , S. A. Dikanov, Two-dimensional ESEEM Spectroscopy'', in ''New Advances in Analytical Chemistry (Atta-ur-Rahman, ed.), page 539
  • The secular A and nonsecular B parts of hyperfine interaction for any particular frequencies ?? and ?? are derived from eqn.(21) by ...


    * (not religious) worldly


    * nonsecular * (not religious) religious * (not religious) sacred (used especially of music) * (not bound by monastic vows) monastic * (not bound by monastic vows) regular (as regular clergy in Catholicism) * eternal, everlasting * frequent * unpredictable * non-recurring * (finance) short-term * (finance) cyclical


    * Webster's English Dictionary


    (en noun)
  • A secular ecclesiastic, or one not bound by monastic rules.
  • (Burke)
  • A church official whose functions are confined to the vocal department of the choir.
  • (Busby)
  • A layman, as distinguished from a clergyman.
  • Anagrams

    * ----




  • A position that religious belief should not influence public and governmental decisions
  • The related political belief in the separation of church and state
  • See also

    * agnosticism * atheism * humanism * English words suffixed with -ism