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 Some schools are devoting more time to social studies and science, subjects that help build vocabulary and knowledge in ways that can make students stronger readers. New York Times, "An Old and Contested Solution to Boost Reading Scores: Phonics," 15 Feb. 2020 The district website lists Cuneo as an eighth-grade social studies teacher at Toms River Intermediate School East. Erik Larsen, USA TODAY, "NJ teacher defends slavery lesson where he allegedly made whipping sounds, kicked students," 13 Feb. 2020 The suit says the company also purchased ad impressions on several websites designed to offer mathematics and social studies help to middle and high school students. Evan Simko-bednarski, CNN, "Juul sued by Massachusetts, allegedly advertised on children's websites," 13 Feb. 2020 The complaint was brought against Lawrence Cuneo, an eighth-grade social studies teacher at Toms River Intermediate East, according to Michael Kenny, a school district spokesman. Janelle Griffith, NBC News, "A New Jersey teacher allegedly made whipping sounds, kicked students in slavery lesson," 12 Feb. 2020 Libertowski is a 2017 graduate of Medina High School; Jared Metz, majoring in integrated social studies. Sam Boyer, cleveland, "Tri-C visitation coming up; Medina County collegians graduate, earn honors," 6 Feb. 2020 Reduce high school English, math, science and social studies courses. Jeanne Houck,, "West Clermont to voters: Pass levy or expect cuts in teachers, busing, athletics, arts," 5 Feb. 2020 The State Board of Education on Friday gave preliminary approval to standards for districts to offer the course as an elective social studies class for high school students. Arnessa Garrett, Dallas News, "Biden’s lead among Texas voters grows, Iowa caucus snafu, impeachment trial winds down, Ellis becomes sanctuary ‘county’ for unborn," 4 Feb. 2020 Claassen plans to continue to teach social studies at Pius as well as serve as its softball coach. Mark Stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Pius XI basketball coach Joel Claassen announces retirement effective the end of the season; Dan Carey named successor," 3 Feb. 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.

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First Known Use of social studies

1853, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for social studies

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The first known use of social studies was in 1853

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Statistics for social studies

Last Updated

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Social studies.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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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

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