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 Some cafés are run by MLL staffers, all of whom have bachelor’s or master’s degrees in education, social work, or health care. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "Finland’s family cafes are helping solve one of parenting’s biggest problems," 9 Jan. 2020 Will, who has a degree in social work, is paying off his student debt while working at a halfway house for recovering addicts. Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker, "The Equality Conundrum," 6 Jan. 2020 This time, though, there are two trans men in the main cast: Smith is joined by Leo Sheng as Micah, a gay adjunct professor of social work who lives with his friends, a lesbian couple. Trish Bendix,, "‘The L Word’ got trans men wrong. The sequel plans to make it right," 26 Nov. 2019 Arizona State University — where Sinema teaches legal issues and social work — is distributing the survey by reaching veterans via email. Isabella Hulsizer, azcentral, "Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and ASU team up on survey to improve VA health care," 21 Nov. 2019 Instead — and because of his background — he was drawn to social work, and received his master’s degree in 1969. Nicole Brodeur, The Seattle Times, "Obituary: UW professor Anthony Ishisaka was ‘great humanitarian,’ co-founder of Asian Counseling and Referral Services," 3 Aug. 2019 The facility also provides support services such as social work, cancer pain management and clinical nutrition. Laraib Hashmi, Houston Chronicle, "MD Anderson outpatient clinic opens in The Woodlands," 22 Oct. 2019 Palliative interventions broadly describe symptom alleviation across the medical spectrum, while hospice focuses narrowly on caring for the dying and generally provides greater services, such as chaplaincy, social work, and in-home volunteers. Wesley J. Smith, National Review, "Congress Should Pass the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act," 27 Sep. 2019 The initial three pillars of the College of Health will be the existing school of social work, the existing graduate program in professional psychology and the new nursing school which will open in about two years, Sullivan said. Deanna Weniger, Twin Cities, "St. Thomas announces new College of Health, appoints Wilder Foundation’s CEO to be first dean," 11 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for social work

Time Traveler

The first known use of social work was in 1847

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Statistics for social work

Last Updated

24 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Social work.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on social work

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with social work

Spanish Central: Translation of social work

Nglish: Translation of social work for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about social work

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