Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


As we have said, India is a land where the secular does not appeal.

Of course, regarding the secular advantages of the colony, we cannot speak.

Valuable modern and secular books have been added to these collections from time to time.

Boye was a gifted writer, both on secular and religious themes.

It must not, however, be supposed that New England had no secular music.

He dominated the forest, the secular gloom, the old mankind.

Freedom from sacerdotal dogma, from secular law, she has always had.

He had absolutely no desire to get mixed up with the secular police.

For a while after my reception, I proposed to betake myself to some secular calling.

But I have not a good selection of music, sacred or 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.





adjectiveamateur, not trained in a religious or other profession
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.