so·​cial·​i·​za·​tion ˌsō-sh(ə-)lə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce socialization (audio)
: the process beginning during childhood by which individuals acquire the values, habits, and attitudes of a society
But certainly dealing with shame and its boundaries is soon a constant factor in the socialization of the child, because standards and rules are everywhere …Robert Karen
The most important feature of culture is that it can be transmitted, and thus the young can acquire adaptive repertoires through the learning process or, in sociological terms, the socialization process.David Mechanic
: social interaction with others
She also made spelling an exercise in socialization, by putting together children who did not seem predisposed to like each other.Tracy Kidder
With its idiosyncratic rhythms, rules and relationships, the coffee bar, these new workers say, has replaced the local bar as a place of socialization.Kirk Johnson
: exposure of a young domestic animal (such as a kitten or puppy) to a variety of people, animals, and situations to minimize fear and aggression and promote friendliness
Some adult dogs, because of a lack of socialization combined with genetic tendencies, can never transfer certain individuals from the "unfamiliar" to the "familiar" category.Dog Watch
: the action or process of making something (such as an industry) socialistic : conversion to collective or governmental ownership and control
the socialization of medicine
In the case of Vietnam the exodus was also related to … the government's decision of March 1978 to close down privately run businesses. This was a move to accelerate the socialization of the economy …T. E. Vedney

Examples of socialization in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Testing Early Socialization Another example of research that supports early socialization and regulation comes from a study that examined newborns’ abilities to register a gaze. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 9 Nov. 2023 Its origins can be traced back to Ancient Greece and was used primarily for relaxation and socialization purposes. Audrey Noble, Vogue, 31 Oct. 2023 Sleep, socialization, and goals The other three papers focus on some of this brain controller’s major functions. Popular Science, 26 Oct. 2023 The building’s amenities will include a teaching kitchen, workout spaces and socialization areas. David Chiu, Peoplemag, 9 Oct. 2023 Medical professionals recommend regular sleep and exercise schedules, prioritizing socialization and challenging the mind at every age. Marin Wolf, Dallas News, 17 July 2023 Introverts will also need to be ready for extra socialization. Lydia Mansel, Travel + Leisure, 12 Oct. 2023 Differences in biology and socialization between the two sexes may also have a part to play. Bypaige Hagy, Fortune, 7 Oct. 2023 Remote online learning also limited or curtailed student opportunities for socialization and nonacademic activities, the report said, causing many students to become disengaged or drop out of school. Natasha Singer, New York Times, 6 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1839, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of socialization was in 1839

Dictionary Entries Near socialization

Cite this Entry

“Socialization.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Medical Definition


variants also British socialisation
: the process by which a human being beginning at infancy acquires the habits, beliefs, and accumulated knowledge of society through education and training for adult status

More from Merriam-Webster on socialization

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