social

1 of 2

adjective

so·​cial ˈsō-shəl How to pronounce social (audio)
1
: involving allies or confederates
the Social War between the Athenians and their allies
2
a
: marked by or passed in pleasant companionship with friends or associates
an active social life
b
c
: of, relating to, or designed for sociability
a social club
3
: of or relating to human society, the interaction of the individual and the group, or the welfare of human beings as members of society
social institutions
4
a
: tending to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with others
Infants can become social beings only through interaction with others.Gerald R. Leslie and Sheila K. Korman
b
: living and breeding in more or less organized communities especially for the purposes of cooperation and mutual benefit : not solitary
Of the canid family, the wolf is one of the most social species, since it is a pack hunter.Michael W. Fox
The evolutionary theory of kin selection requires that social animals recognize their relatives so that altruistic behavior can be displayed preferentially toward kin.Science
see also social insect
c
of a plant : tending to grow in groups or masses so as to form a pure stand
5
a
: of, relating to, or based on rank or status in a particular society
a member of our social set
b
: of, relating to, or characteristic of the upper classes
c
: formal
6
: being such in social situations
a social drinker

social

2 of 2

noun

Examples of social in a Sentence

Adjective She has poor social skills. The vacation resort held a lot of social events. I joined the club to improve my social life. Her sister is much more social than she is. social institutions like marriage and family Health care is a major social issue. Child abuse has become a serious social problem. Martin Luther King, Jr., fought for social change. Most humans are social beings. Noun The club has socials every month. He's living on the social now.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Kang inundates readers with proper nouns like the Radiant dynasty and Three Golden Dumplings (to say nothing of the inevitable purple cloud) that vaguely link different points on the timeline, but that have no ties to a social or material world. Stephen Kearse, Washington Post, 17 July 2024 However, the Brookings Institute found in 2016 that participation in Head Start programs improved educational outcomes, helped with social and behavioral development, and promoted positive parenting. Kathleen Walsh, Glamour, 17 July 2024
Noun
Their next arrest made the bigger splash, however — if only for the arrestee’s clout on socials. Paul Solotaroff, Rolling Stone, 17 June 2024 The two dozen attendees of the Radio City event have a total audience of 85 million followers — many individually boast more TikTok followers than the president’s account — and were neither paid to attend nor required to share it on their socials. Dylan Wells, Washington Post, 5 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for social 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'social.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English, from Latin socialis, from socius companion, ally, associate; akin to Old English secg man, companion, Latin sequi to follow — more at sue

First Known Use

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1857, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of social was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near social

Cite this Entry

“Social.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/social. Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

social

1 of 2 adjective
so·​cial ˈsō-shəl How to pronounce social (audio)
1
a
: devoted to or engaged in for sociability
social events
my social life
2
: of or relating to human society
social institutions
3
a
: tending to form cooperative relationships with others
we are social beings
b
: living or growing by nature in groups or communities
bees are social insects
4
a
: of, relating to, or based on rank in a particular society
not accepted as their social equal
b
: of or relating to fashionable society
a social leader

social

2 of 2 noun
: a friendly gathering usually for a special reason
an ice cream social

Medical Definition

social

adjective
so·​cial ˈsō-shəl How to pronounce social (audio)
1
a
: tending to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with others of one's kind
b
: living and breeding in more or less organized communities
social insects
2
: of or relating to human society, the interaction of the individual and the group, or the welfare of human beings as members of society
immature social behavior
socially adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on social

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