social distancing


Definition of social distancing

: the practice of maintaining a greater than usual physical distance (such as six feet or more) from other people or of avoiding direct contact with people or objects in public places during the outbreak of a contagious disease in order to minimize exposure and reduce the transmission of infection : physical distancing San Francisco issued recommendations for social distancing on Friday, advising residents to stay home as much as possible and avoid congregating in large groups.— Taryn Luna and Melody Gutierrez Under a new "social distancing" strategy, handshaking could be discouraged, with other, less tactile forms of greeting taking its place.— Rosa Silverman The term social distancing may be foreign to some, but the concept is one often practiced during the flu season, said Dora Anne Mills, the state's former top health official and currently chief health improvement officer for MaineHealth.— Gillian Graham

First Known Use of social distancing

2003, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of social distancing was in 2003

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Last Updated

27 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Social distancing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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