mem·​ber·​ship | \ ˈmem-bər-ˌship How to pronounce membership (audio) \
plural memberships

Definition of membership

1 : the state or status of being a member
2 : the body of members an organization with a large membership
3 mathematics : the relation between an element of a set (see set entry 2 sense 21) or class and the set or class itself — compare inclusion sense 3a

Examples of membership in a Sentence

What is the cost of a one-year membership? Membership in the club doubled last year. clubs that are hoping to increase their membership The club has a large membership. clubs that are hoping to increase their memberships
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Union membership as a percentage of the workforce, particularly in the private sector, has been in a secular decline for decades and stood at 6.3 percent last year, according to the BLS. NBC News, 10 Sep. 2021 The Knights in June announced a charter membership in the six-team Midwest Sprint Football League, a club sport set to compete in the fall of 2022. Shannon Russell, The Courier-Journal, 7 Sep. 2021 The country decriminalized homosexuality three years after that, in 2001, while reforming its laws to qualify for membership in the European Union. Arkansas Online, 26 Aug. 2021 But membership in the United Mine Workers of America plummeted; continued strikes cost the UMWA millions and made little headway toward their goals of changing coal company policies. Abby Lee Hood, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Aug. 2021 This fine technique, which originated in Medieval England as a way to embellish priestly vestments, was later applied to military and ceremonial uniforms as well as blazer crests signifying membership in schools, clubs or army regiments. Eric Twardzik, Robb Report, 24 Aug. 2021 Acceptance by the Great Midwest is the first step in the process of applying for membership in NCAA Division II. James Weber, The Enquirer, 19 Aug. 2021 Both sides in criminal trials are allowed a limited number of peremptory challenges to dismiss potential jurors, but they’re not allowed to make such challenges based solely on a person’s membership in a particular racial or ethnic group., 16 Aug. 2021 Not that that mattered much in the early years, when Attucks was denied membership in the Indiana High School Athletic Association. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, 11 Aug. 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of membership

1614, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About membership

Time Traveler for membership

Time Traveler

The first known use of membership was in 1614

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near membership



membership star

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for membership

Last Updated

16 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Membership.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for membership



English Language Learners Definition of membership

: the state of belonging to or being a part of a group or an organization : the state of being a member
: all the people or things that belong to or are part of an organization or a group


mem·​ber·​ship | \ ˈmem-bər-ˌship How to pronounce membership (audio) \

Kids Definition of membership

1 : the state or fact of belonging to a group
2 : the whole number of individuals that make up a group The membership voted to increase dues.


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!