secular (adj.)

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, lifetime, generation, breed."

This is from Proto-Italic *sai-tlo-, which, according to Watkins, is PIE instrumental element *-tlo- + *sai- "to bind, tie" (see sinew), extended metaphorically to successive human generations as links in the chain of life. De Vaan lists as a cognate Welsh hoedl "lifespan, age." An older theory connected it to words for "seed," from PIE root *se- "to sow" (see sow (v.), and compare Gothic mana-seþs "mankind, world," literally "seed of men").

Used in ecclesiastical writing like Greek aiōn "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.

Origin and meaning of secular

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Definitions of secular
secular (adj.)
of or relating to the doctrine that rejects religion and religious considerations;
secular (adj.)
not concerned with or devoted to religion;
secular architecture
secular drama
Synonyms: profane
secular (adj.)
of or relating to clergy not bound by monastic vows;
the secular clergy
secular (adj.)
characteristic of those who are not members of the clergy;
Synonyms: laic / lay
secular (adj.)
characteristic of or devoted to the temporal world as opposed to the spiritual world;
Synonyms: worldly / temporal
secular (n.)
someone who is not a clergyman or a professional person;
Synonyms: layman / layperson