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

Her teams will coordinate with others fielded by the city of Long Beach, the county Department of Mental Health and the social services agency PATH, covering an area stretching from Inglewood to Long Beach. Doug Smith,, "Homeless outreach teams ready to bring services to the streets," 14 May 2018 Public transportation, health care, social services—those kinds of things barely existed. Joseph O’neill, The New Yorker, "The First World," 21 June 2018 VarMed has been helping coordinate medical care, social services and housing for thousands of Puerto Ricans for four years. Sarah Varney, Washington Post, "Time’s Running Out: The Frail In Puerto Rico Face End Of Hurricane Relief Programs," 30 Mar. 2018 What few social services that are available could disappear entirely. Simon Denyer, Washington Post, "Mongolia’s nomadic way of life threatened by climate change, neglect, modernity," 8 July 2018 Southwest Key has long branded itself as an angel of the borderlands, stepping in to help solve one of the nation’s most vexing social services problems, with constantly changing demands amid shifts in immigration policy. Mark Collette, Joshua Fechter And Bill Lambrecht, San Antonio Express-News, "Companies earn billions to shelter immigrant children," 29 June 2018 Despite their best efforts, Will and Tom are discovered by chance, which puts them in the hands of well-meaning social services personnel whose attempts to normalize the situation fill these two, and us, with dread. Kenneth Turan,, "'Leave No Trace' is a reminder that the movie world is better with Debra Granik in it," 28 June 2018 If a church did not receive a packet, it is asked to contact Vickie Bernal, the KCM social services director, at for information. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "KCM Red Apple program sees greater need," 13 June 2018 The city of Philadelphia began distributing kits to residents that include a blue bulb for the front porch, no-trespassing signs, a tool to pick up used syringes, a needle disposal box and contact information for social services. Fox News, "Retailers experiment with blue lights to deter drug use," 25 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of social service

1761, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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The first known use of social service was in 1761

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