so·​ci·​e·​tal | \ sə-ˈsī-ə-tᵊl How to pronounce societal (audio) \

Definition of societal

: of or relating to society : social societal forces

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Other Words from societal

societally \ sə-​ˈsī-​ə-​tᵊl-​ē How to pronounce societally (audio) \ adverb

Examples of societal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As societal restrictions kicked in related to COVID-19 in mid-March, so did the penchant for speeding. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, "Minnesota's traffic fatality count so far in 2020 now equal to all of last year," 1 Dec. 2020 As the capitalist system in America and abroad is rebuilt in many ways after the pandemic, Ferguson thinks there is ample opportunity to diversify the ranks at all levels and increase the societal value of the work that corporations do. Mckenna Moore, Fortune, "TIAA CEO Roger Ferguson thinks we could be headed for a ‘double-dip recession’," 1 Dec. 2020 For a long time, the de-facto genre of assistantship stories was comedy, because societal roles were thought to be fixed, and straining against the order of things had funny outcomes. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, "What if You Could Outsource Your To-Do List?," 30 Nov. 2020 The archive’s designers took into account potential threats from wars and natural disasters, as well as technological and societal changes. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Norway Preserves ‘The Scream’ for Future Generations by Burying Digital Copy in Arctic Coal Mine," 30 Nov. 2020 Transforming craft into an act of protest against indifference, against the lack of willpower to reverse or address a societal ill, is something that Mexican women, and women around the world, are familiar with. Cheri Lucas Rowlands, Longreads, "‘Transforming Craft Into An Act of Protest’: Embroidery In Response to Femicide in Mexico," 25 Nov. 2020 The pandemic has rippled through this vulnerable population where the societal side effects of the virus are arguably more damaging than the disease itself. Diane Bell Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Street teens go from homeless to giving thanks," 25 Nov. 2020 To avoid the societal and familial pressures that single people face on special occasions. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "12 Christmas Movies on Netflix to Watch This Holiday Season," 25 Nov. 2020 For a millennium or more the Roman church viewed itself, and in many ways still views itself, as an institutional check on societal excesses and governmental abuses. Barton Swaim, WSJ, "‘American Catholic’ Review: Doctrine and Democracy," 20 Nov. 2020

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

1890, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for societal

Time Traveler

The first known use of societal was in 1890

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Statistics for societal

Last Updated

3 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Societal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for societal


How to pronounce societal (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of societal

formal : of or relating to society

More from Merriam-Webster on societal

Nglish: Translation of societal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of societal for Arabic Speakers

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