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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ the secularism of American popular culture
▪ Turkey's secularism
▪ In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, enlightened despotism, secularism, nationalism and liberalism had all fanned the flames.
▪ It is interesting to note that there appears to be great resistance to acknowledging the full impact of secularism on schools.
▪ On a wider front secularism has affected our lives in a variety of ways.
▪ The unavoidable fact of the matter is that both religion and secularism are stances.
▪ There is also the continuing challenge of secularism.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Secularism \Sec"u*lar*ism\, n.

  1. The state or quality of being secular; a secular spirit; secularity.

  2. The tenets or principles of the secularists.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"doctrine that morality should be based on the well-being of man in the present life, without regard to religious belief or a hereafter," 1846, from secular + -ism.


n. 1 A position that religious belief should not influence public and governmental decisions 2 The related political belief in the separation of church and state


n. a doctrine that rejects religion and religious considerations


Secularism is the principle of the separation of government institutions and persons mandated to represent the state from religious institutions and religious dignitaries. One manifestation of secularism is asserting the right to be free from religious rule and teachings, or, in a state declared to be neutral on matters of belief, from the imposition by government of religion or religious practices upon its people. Another manifestation of secularism is the view that public activities and decisions, especially political ones, should be uninfluenced by religious beliefs and/or practices.

Secularism draws its intellectual roots from Greek and Roman philosophers such as Epicurus and Marcus Aurelius; from Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke, Denis Diderot, Voltaire, Baruch Spinoza, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine; and from more recent freethinkers and atheists such as Robert Ingersoll and Bertrand Russell.

The purposes and arguments in support of secularism vary widely. In European laicism, it has been argued that secularism is a movement toward modernization, and away from traditional religious values (also known as secularization). This type of secularism, on a social or philosophical level, has often occurred while maintaining an official state church or other state support of religion. In the United States, some argue that state secularism has served to a greater extent to protect religion and the religious from governmental interference, while secularism on a social level is less prevalent. Within countries as well, differing political movements support secularism for varying reasons.

Usage examples of "secularism".

Christians to take a fair, unprejudiced look at true secularism and to induce secularists to take a fair, unprejudiced view of true Christ-following, seems to me to be the great need of today.

Baath Party generally are ideologically committed to secularism, about 95 percent of Iraqis are Muslim and Islam is the officially recognized state religion.