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 Opponents worried the measure would tie the hands of Beacon Hill and hurt the funding of social service programs. Shirley Leung,, 8 Aug. 2022 Our mission is to improve the lives of underserved, minority, low-income and disenfranchised communities through social service programs (education, employment, health, youth programs, housing, food pantry, arts, etc.). Lynne A. Fort, Journal Sentinel, 18 July 2022 Democrats had to swallow huge cuts to social service programs — including education and prison healthcare — but were able to extract increases to the sales and income taxes from Republicans. Los Angeles Times, 29 May 2022 For 20 years, an outreach team from the Howard Center, a mental health provider, has helped connect people to social service programs and de-escalate conflict. NBC News, 19 Dec. 2021 The apprentices, recruited through social service programs, public announcements and graduates’ referrals, all come from troubled backgrounds. Nicole Sours Larson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Dec. 2021 In April 2020, less than a month after Taylor refused to pick her up from the hospital, the Office of Mental Health worked with a social service agency called Hillside Family of Agencies to get her into a residential treatment facility in Rochester. ProPublica, 9 June 2022 Natalie Fair-Albright, who 20 years ago worked for Catholic Charities in Cincinnati and now helps refugees on a more limited basis, said when refugees come to the United States there is a social service agency that helps for the first 90 days., 24 Mar. 2022 If the evidence says the harassment is a crime, the policy says the superintendent should alert law enforcement or the appropriate social service agency. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 Dec. 2021 See More

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, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near social service

social selection

social service

social statics

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for social service

Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Social service.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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