social work


Definition of social work 

: any of various professional activities or methods concretely concerned with providing social services and especially with the investigation, treatment, and material aid of the economically, physically, mentally, or socially disadvantaged

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Other Words from social work

social worker noun

Examples of social work in a Sentence

She is doing social work. He has a job in social work.

Recent Examples on the Web

Ramalingam, who considers her company to operate in the realm of digital social work, has identified commonalities between the individuals that tend to seek out and fall into hate groups. Erika Fry, Fortune, "How Tech Companies Like Google Deal With Terrorists on Their Platforms," 12 June 2018 The new members are: Julia Danzy, 78, with degrees in social work from Columbia University and government administration from the University of Pennsylvania, has worked in the social-services field for more than three decades., "Teachers, social service experts, and more: Meet the 9 new Philly school board members," 4 Apr. 2018 Many women in the fields of social work, women’s empowerment and family law prefer to focus on the gains women have achieved, not the limitations that remain. Margaret Coker, New York Times, "Saudi Women Can Drive, but Here’s the Real Roadblock," 22 June 2018 Candidates typically require a master's degree in either social work or counseling psychology, Topitzes said. John Schmid, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Help wanted: Trauma-focused social workers to stop downward spiral in Milwaukee," 4 June 2018 Health and social work students at UCF can do their rotations at Legacy Pointe. Naseem S. Miller,, "Legacy Pointe at UCF to offer housing, access to university for retirees," 9 May 2018 Romero moved to New York City in 1979 and went on to get a master’s degree in social work at Hunter College. Diana Tsui, The Cut, "The Community Activist Who Dresses to Celebrate Her Heritage," 10 July 2018 Renison is getting her master’s degree in social work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Heidi Stevens,, "How a yoga garden nourishes the soul of a West Side block," 5 July 2018 The key may be a new school of social workDecades of job placement haven't stopped the bullets, Boyle concedes. John Schmid, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What stops a bullet? Milwaukee can learn from L.A. program that has turned to trauma care," 18 June 2018

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

1847, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for social work

Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for social work

The first known use of social work was in 1847

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More Definitions for social work

social work


English Language Learners Definition of social work

: the work done by someone who works for a government or private organization that helps people who have financial or family problems

social work


Medical Definition of social work 

: any of various professional services, activities, or methods concretely concerned with the investigation, treatment, and material aid of the economically, physically, mentally, or socially disadvantaged

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Comments on social work

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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