social service

noun

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

Recent Examples of social service from the Web

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.

First Known Use of social service

1761


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