social studies

plural noun

Definition of social studies

: a part of a school or college curriculum concerned with the study of social relationships and the functioning of society and usually made up of courses in history, government, economics, civics, sociology, geography, and anthropology

Examples of social studies in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ihrke confirmed that a student approached a social studies teacher asking to start the club. Pam Louwagie, Star Tribune, "Revered Minnesota prep football coach gets heat for comments about school's Diversity Club," 8 Feb. 2021 As a result, students take State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, exams for math, reading, writing, science, and social studies. Emily Donaldson, Dallas News, "What you need to know about STAAR tests for this school year," 14 Dec. 2020 The program, offered in all 50 states, aligns with Common Core State Standards in science, social studies, language arts and math. Amy Chillag, CNN, "Outdoor classrooms reenergize kids during the pandemic," 18 Nov. 2020 Virtually all of them offer field trips and supplement social studies curriculum in the schools, which is taught to various degrees in the Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee school systems. Tonyaa Weathersbee, USA TODAY, "As Confederate statues fall and protests arise, civil rights museums are key to explaining why," 5 Dec. 2020 Lauren Hines teaches Spanish and social studies in Kentucky. Lauren Hines, STAT, "I worked hard to protect myself from Covid-19 and the flu. Yet I got both — at the same time," 27 Nov. 2020 Smith teaches social studies at the YouthBuild Philadelphia charter school. Fox News, "Philadelphia teacher and activist facing federal charges related to George Floyd riots," 29 Oct. 2020 Pedro Hernandez teaches social studies at that suburban school. CBS News, "Teachers worry schools can't manage coronavirus spread: "When a student tests positive, now what?"," 20 Aug. 2020 This class is in addition to giving space for the narratives, history, culture of minority groups within the core social studies offerings., "Community News For The Putnam-Killingly Edition," 31 Dec. 2020

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

1853, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about social studies

Time Traveler for social studies

Time Traveler

The first known use of social studies was in 1853

See more words from the same year

Statistics for social studies

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Social studies.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for social studies

social studies


English Language Learners Definition of social studies

: a course of study that deals with human relationships and the way society works

social studies

noun plural

Kids Definition of social studies

: the studies (as civics, history, and geography) that deal with human relationships and the way society works

Comments on social studies

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 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!