social service


Definition of social service

: an activity designed to promote social well-being specifically : organized philanthropic assistance (such as counseling, job training, or financial support) It operates like a mall with specialty shops, treating students like customers, or the adult clients of a social service, rather than as young people in need of an education for a worthy life. — Joseph Featherstone Most states are struggling with skimpy resources and a system of uncoordinated social services that is totally inadequate to serve a population of individuals whose needs are bottomless. — Constance Holden often used before another noun social service agencies a social service project

Examples of social service in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Individuals received help through social service programs including utility assistance, prescription drug programs and back-to-school backpack programs. Arkansas Online, 10 June 2021 The union suggests inoculation events at schools that are near existing vaccine sites, that house health clinics or that offer social service programs and already partner with community organizations. Karen Ann Cullotta,, 4 May 2021 In 1971, Corky Lee drew inspiration from the Black Panthers' social service programs to help organize a health fair in Manhattan's Chinatown, providing free testing for tuberculosis, lead poisoning, venereal diseases and other conditions. NBC News, 3 Mar. 2021 The housing services measure was designed to muscle up current social service programs to address some of those very needs, particularly funding to keep people housed through rental assistance and behavioral health services. oregonlive, 13 Feb. 2021 That approach is what's known as a warrior mindset, Terrill said, in contrast to the guardian mindset emphasizing social service that has gained traction in recent years. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, 13 June 2020 The agency provides or connects residents with social service agencies that help homeless families, those in the throes of domestic violence and more. Lisa Donovan,, 25 May 2021 People seeking services or shelter have ended up on the streets at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard, where addiction treatment programs, shelters and social service agencies are clustered., 24 May 2021 While the lack of affordable housing isn’t new, Sojourner House plans to do something different than other social service agencies., 19 May 2021

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

1761, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about social service

Time Traveler for social service

Time Traveler

The first known use of social service was in 1761

See more words from the same year

Statistics for social service

Last Updated

16 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Social service.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on social service Encyclopedia article about social service


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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