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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Secular


SEC'ULAR, adjective. [Latin secularis, from seculum, the world or an age.]

1. Pertaining to the present world, or to things not spiritual or holy; relating to things not immediately or primarily respecting the soul, but the body; worldly. The secular concerns of life respect making provision for the support of life, the preservation of health, the temporal prosperity of men, of states, etc. Secular power is that which superintends and governs the temporal affairs of men, the civil or political power; and is contradistinguished from spiritual or ecclsiastical power.

2. Among catholics, not regular; not bound by monastic vows or rules; not confines to a monastery or subject to the rules of a religious community. Thus we say, the secular clergy and the regular clergy.

3. Coming once in a century; as a secular year.

Secular games, in Rome, were games celebrated once in an age or century, which lasted three days and three nights, with sacrifices, theatrical shows, combats, sports, etc.

Valerius Maximus.

Secular music, any music or songs not adapted to sacred uses.

Secular song or poem, a song or poem composed for the secular games, or sung or rehearsed at those games.

SEC'ULAR, noun. A church officer or officiate whose functions are confines to the vocal department of the choir.