Sec"u*lar (?), a. [OE. secular, seculer. L. saecularis, fr. saeculum a race, generation, age, the times, the world; perhaps akin to E. soul: cf. F. s'eculier.]


Coming or observed once in an age or a century.

The secular year was kept but once a century. Addison.


Pertaining to an age, or the progress of ages, or to a long period of time; accomplished in a long progress of time; as, secular inequality; the secular refrigeration of the globe.


Of or pertaining to this present world, or to things not spiritual or holy; relating to temporal as distinguished from eternal interests; not immediately or primarily respecting the soul, but the body; worldly.

New foes arise, Threatening to bind our souls with secular chains. Milton.

4. Eccl.

Not regular; not bound by monastic vows or rules; not confined to a monastery, or subject to the rules of a religious community; as, a secular priest.

He tried to enforce a stricter discipline and greater regard for morals, both in the religious orders and the secular clergy. Prescett.


Belonging to the laity; lay; not clerical.

I speak of folk in secular estate. Chaucer.

Secular equation Astron., the algebraic or numerical expression of the magnitude of the inequalities in a planet's motion that remain after the inequalities of a short period have been allowed for. -- Secular games Rom. Antiq., games celebrated, at long but irregular intervals, for three days and nights, with sacrifices, theatrical shows, combats, sports, and the like. -- Secular music, any music or songs not adapted to sacred uses. -- Secular hymnpoem, a hymn or poem composed for the secular games, or sung or rehearsed at those games.


© Webster 1913.

Sec"u*lar, n.

1. Eccl.

A secular ecclesiastic, or one not bound by monastic rules.


2. Eccl.

A church official whose functions are confined to the vocal department of the choir.



A layman, as distinguished from a clergyman.


© Webster 1913.

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