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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Learning to work together, take turns and resolve disagreements is particularly important for these children who as toddlers lacked socialization with other children, Moreno said. Jenny Gold, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2023 According to Fox, the atmosphere is meant to invite socialization over small bites. Endia Fontanez, The Arizona Republic, 9 May 2023 Given the research available, the APA cannot say if social media is helpful or harmful to young people, especially considering both the risks of harmful content and the rewards of healthy socialization. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, 9 May 2023 In Buettner’s research, it’s been made undeniably clear that socialization and purpose ground the people who live the longest. Byalexa Mikhail, Fortune, 4 Feb. 2023 While some children thrive in virtual environments, the majority do not because there are other important factors at play, like the need for socialization and the fact that some students only get a hot meal or medical attention at school. Richard Carranza, Forbes, 27 Jan. 2023 More than 200 families applied to adopt the dogs, but the adoption process was delayed because center officials said the dogs needed spaying and dental care, as well as socialization training to learn how to adapt to life outside a cage. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Aug. 2022 Rodriguez spelled out her concerns about the problems associated with puppy mills, including health and socialization issues, and inadequate regulations and enforcement of rules by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is supposed to oversee large-scale animal breeding. Jim Riccioli, Journal Sentinel, 17 June 2022 Of course, the socialization of the sexes is something different. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, 12 Mar. 2022 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 30 May. 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

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