social

adjective
so·​cial | \ ˈsō-shəl How to pronounce social (audio) \

Definition of social

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : involving allies or confederates the Social War between the Athenians and their allies
2a : marked by or passed in pleasant companionship with friends or associates an active social life
b : sociable
c : of, relating to, or designed for sociability a social club
3 : of or relating to human society, the interaction of the individual and the group, or the welfare of human beings as members of society social institutions
4a : tending to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with others Infants can become social beings only through interaction with others.— Gerald R. Leslie and Sheila K. Korman
b : living and breeding in more or less organized communities especially for the purposes of cooperation and mutual benefit : not solitary Of the canid family, the wolf is one of the most social species, since it is a pack hunter.— Michael W. Fox The evolutionary theory of kin selection requires that social animals recognize their relatives so that altruistic behavior can be displayed preferentially toward kin.Science — see also social insect
c of a plant : tending to grow in groups or masses so as to form a pure stand
5a : of, relating to, or based on rank or status in a particular society a member of our social set
b : of, relating to, or characteristic of the upper classes
c : formal
6 : being such in social situations a social drinker

social

noun

Definition of social (Entry 2 of 2)

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Examples of social in a Sentence

Adjective

She has poor social skills. The vacation resort held a lot of social events. I joined the club to improve my social life. Her sister is much more social than she is. social institutions like marriage and family Health care is a major social issue. Child abuse has become a serious social problem. Martin Luther King, Jr., fought for social change. Most humans are social beings.

Noun

The club has socials every month. He's living on the social now.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

At the same time, people still hew to lifelong social conventions about being a user of their language. Michael Erard, Quartz, "How a doctor and a linguist are using AI to better talk to dying patients," 3 Sep. 2019 So the benefits people seek are access to employment and corporate social responsibility investments. Zoe Cormack, Quartz Africa, "Kenya’s huge wind power project might be great for the environment but not for local communities," 3 Sep. 2019 This social transmission of knowledge is at the heart of culture and science. Scientific American, "How Misinformation Spreads—and Why We Trust It," 3 Sep. 2019 The Riverside show is designed as a fundraiser to benefit arts and social justice programming at the JCC. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mandy Patinkin will perform a fundraising concert for JCC Milwaukee at the Riverside Theater," 3 Sep. 2019 The poet, writer and social justice activist has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry and studied the saint and mystic Teresa de Avila. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "Vote for your favorite 'High Art' billboard in Central Indiana," 3 Sep. 2019 Unlike the homely pub, these places lent drinking a veneer of refinement and blurred social boundaries, offering the working classes access to a kind of space and experience previously reserved for the wealthy. Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, "Briefly Noted," 3 Sep. 2019 Websites that appear higher in search results tend to get more traffic to their pages, which potentially means more business. Paid advertising and social media can help bring traffic to websites, but most online traffic is driven by search engines. Carol Kovach, cleveland.com, "Lakewood Community, European festivals set for Sept. 7: A Place in the Sun," 3 Sep. 2019 Like the Bible story of the good Samaritan who stopped to help a foreigner, the Christian Herald’s subscribers should extend mercy beyond geographical borders and social boundaries. Heather D. Curtis, The Conversation, "How American Christian media promoted charity abroad," 3 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

DJs provide the infectious sounds of salsa, merengue and bachata for the final salsa social of the season on Pratt Street in downtown Hartford on Sept. 6. Cindy S. Kuse, courant.com, "Best bets: 7 things to do this weekend," 1 Sep. 2019 Jennifer Cirincione, vice president of the Friends of Westlake Porter Public Library, said the purpose of the ice cream social has always been to bring the community together. Linda Gandee/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Westlake library holds popular, annual ice cream sundae social; more than 1,200 ice cream sundaes served," 5 Aug. 2019 The club also offers educational workshops, tastings, socials and trips. Marc Bona, cleveland.com, "North Coast Wine Club opens tasting room in Solon," 19 July 2019 Members of the Pompano Beach Tennis Center got into the patriotic spirit with a July Fourth tennis social that celebrated the holiday with a round-robin morning tournament. Emmett Hall, sun-sentinel.com, "Pompano Beach Tennis Center enjoys Wimbledon Tennis Social," 11 July 2019 Neighborhoods can participate from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, by hosting block parties, parades, ice cream socials and more. Michelle Mullins, Naperville Sun, "Naperville News Digest," 7 June 2019 Each graphic naturally comes with sharing buttons so they can be saved or shared to various socials. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "This app will show you your Apple Music listening habits for 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 The company hosts fun holiday parties, office socials and spring training games and boosts teamwork with organized team building events throughout the year. azcentral, "Top Companies to Work for in Arizona-Small Companies," 7 June 2018 Sports and politics, and sports and socials issues have always collided with one another, but now more than ever those conversations are dominating the news cycle. Dan Deluca, Philly.com, "Jemele Hill is playing the Roots Picnic: The ESPN commentator on the NFL and Donald Trump, Bryan Colangelo and the Sixers," 1 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'social.' 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 social

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1857, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for social

Adjective

Middle English, from Latin socialis, from socius companion, ally, associate; akin to Old English secg man, companion, Latin sequi to follow — more at sue

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Statistics for social

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for social

The first known use of social was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for social

social

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of social

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: relating to or involving activities in which people spend time talking to each other or doing enjoyable things with each other
: liking to be with and talk to people : happy to be with people
: of or relating to people or society in general

social

noun

English Language Learners Definition of social (Entry 2 of 2)

: an informal social event for members of a group

social

adjective
so·​cial | \ ˈsō-shəl How to pronounce social (audio) \

Kids Definition of social

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : enjoying other people : sociable a social person
2 : relating to interaction with other people especially for pleasure a busy social life
3 : of or relating to human beings as a group Marriage and family are social institutions.
4 : living naturally in groups or communities Bees are social insects.
5 : relating to or based on rank in a particular society social classes

Other Words from social

socially adverb socially active

social

noun

Kids Definition of social (Entry 2 of 2)

: a friendly gathering usually for a special reason

social

adjective
so·​cial | \ ˈsō-shəl How to pronounce social (audio) \

Medical Definition of social

1a : tending to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with others of one's kind
b : living and breeding in more or less organized communities social insects
2 : of or relating to human society, the interaction of the individual and the group, or the welfare of human beings as members of society immature social behavior

Other Words from social

socially \ -​ē How to pronounce socially (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on social

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for social

Spanish Central: Translation of social

Nglish: Translation of social for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of social for Arabic Speakers

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