social engineering


Definition of social engineering

: management of human beings in accordance with their place and function in society : applied social science

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from social engineering

social engineer noun

Examples of social engineering in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

School busing in Boston is a case study on how not to conduct grand experiments in social engineering. Kevin Cullen,, "Opposing forced busing doesn’t mean you oppose integration," 1 July 2019 And that will happen without the massive, social engineering and insane corporate welfare being thrown at the industry. Jon Caldara, The Denver Post, "Caldara: In Colorado you’re still paying for rich folks to buy a luxury second car," 7 June 2019 Former Metropolitan Council Chairman Peter Bell sees it as social engineering. Elliot Kaufman, WSJ, "Housing Deregulation in Progressive Clothes," 21 Dec. 2018 But the suits say the sanctions amount to a ham-handed attempt at social engineering that backfired. Douglas Belkin, WSJ, "Harvard Faces Lawsuits Over Sanctions on Single-Sex Clubs," 3 Dec. 2018 And all social engineering is based on emotional response. Robert Mcmillan, WSJ, "How Hackers Talk Their Way Into Getting Company Secrets," 18 Sep. 2018 But because of the nature of MDM, successful takeover of devices would have required a substantial amount of social engineering to get users to go through all the steps voluntarily. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Hyper-targeted attack against 13 iPhones dropped malicious apps via MDM," 13 July 2018 Known to security researchers as the Carbanak group, the group used social engineering and phishing attacks to infiltrate businesses and steal financial data. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Ukrainian hackers arrested for stealing 15 million credit card records," 1 Aug. 2018 Further Reading How a college student tricked 17k coders into running his sketchy script This isn’t the first time Python’s official PyPI repository has been abused to carry out this type of social engineering attack. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Two new supply-chain attacks come to light in less than a week," 23 Oct. 2018

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

1899, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about social engineering

Statistics for social engineering

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for social engineering

The first known use of social engineering was in 1899

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for social engineering

social engineering


English Language Learners Definition of social engineering

formal : the practice of making laws or using other methods to influence public opinion and solve social problems or improve social conditions

More from Merriam-Webster on social engineering

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with social engineering

Comments on social engineering

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


characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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