an·​ti·​so·​cial | \ ˌan-tē-ˈsō-shəl How to pronounce antisocial (audio) , ˌan-ˌtī-\

Definition of antisocial

1 : averse to the society of others : unsociable
2 : hostile or harmful to organized society especially : being or marked by behavior deviating sharply from the social norm
3 psychology : of, relating to, or characteristic of antisocial personality disorder Although community placement before discharge reduces subsequent antisocial behavior, most have apparently required outpatient mental health services indefinitely …— Nathaniel S. Lehrman

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Other Words from antisocial

antisocially \ -​shə-​lē How to pronounce antisocially (audio) \ adverb

Examples of antisocial in a Sentence

She's not being antisocial; she's just shy at parties. she's not antisocial, just extremely shy

Recent Examples on the Web

Not stepping in to help these kids, in what for some may be the last chance to develop social behavior, simply advances their development into antisocial adults. WSJ, "DeVos Is Restoring Order to America’s Schools," 30 Dec. 2018 Research shows that social media may well be making many of us unhappy, jealous and -- paradoxically - antisocial., "I was wrong. Too much tech is ruining lives.," 18 Apr. 2018 Basic socialization teaches us that, for the most part, spitting out hostile, unfiltered sentiments is antisocial and destructive. Patricia Grisafi, SELF, "When I’m Gaming, I Can Stop Being a People Pleaser and Embrace My Anger," 1 Nov. 2018 Much antisocial behaviour online stems from the anonymity of internet interactions – the reputational costs of being mean are much lower than offline. Catherine Cusick, Longreads, "Before We All Teach Someone a Lesson," 3 Apr. 2018 The researchers aimed at the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex because dozens of small neuro-imaging studies have reported that in people deemed antisocial or aggressive or both, this region is typically smaller and less active than in other people. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Can zapping people’s brains reduce violence? Controversial study sees potential," 2 July 2018 Others said he was rarely seen at school, was secluded and somewhat antisocial., "Judge refuses to lower bail for 19-year-old accused in Dixon High School shooting," 18 May 2018 In fact, it is linked to increases in a wide variety of negative outcomes, from antisocial behaviors to mental health problems to (unsurprisingly) spanking or physical abuse. David Roberts, Vox, "Please don’t spank your kids," 3 July 2018 This young man has had no prior contacts with the courts and has been considered an affable, precocious student with no discipline or antisocial tendencies. Robert Moran,, "Police: Teen who threatened shooting at Delco high school had 1,600 rounds of ammo and a handgun," 2 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antisocial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of antisocial

1790, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for antisocial

The first known use of antisocial was in 1790

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More Definitions for antisocial



English Language Learners Definition of antisocial

: violent or harmful to people
: not friendly to other people


an·​ti·​so·​cial | \ ˌan-ti-ˈsō-shəl How to pronounce antisocial (audio) , ˌan-ˌtī-\

Kids Definition of antisocial

1 : violent or harmful to people Crime is antisocial.
2 : unfriendly She's not antisocial, just shy.


an·​ti·​so·​cial | \ -ˈsō-shəl How to pronounce antisocial (audio) \

Medical Definition of antisocial

: hostile or harmful to organized society: as
a : being or marked by behavior deviating sharply from the social norm
b : of, relating to, or characterized by an antisocial personality, the antisocial personality disorder, or behavior typical of either

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More from Merriam-Webster on antisocial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with antisocial

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for antisocial

Spanish Central: Translation of antisocial

Nglish: Translation of antisocial for Spanish Speakers

Comments on antisocial

What made you want to look up antisocial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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