so·​ci·​e·​tal | \ sə-ˈsī-ə-tᵊl \

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 \ adverb

Examples of societal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But as is so often the case with societal shifts, artists are leaping headfirst into the epistemological fray. James Vincent, The Verge, "What algorithmic art can teach us about artificial intelligence," 6 Nov. 2018 But just as the old Bicycle Kingdom spoke to impoverished collectivization, today’s sharing phenomenon betrays larger societal shifts. Time, "The Trouble with Sharing: China's Bike Fever Has Reached Saturation Point," 2 Apr. 2018 The idea of needing to shower every 24 hours to maintain good personal hygiene is more of a societal norm some people subscribe to than a biological imperative, Emily Newsom, M.D., a dermatologist at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, tells SELF. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "How Often Should You Really Shower?," 10 Jan. 2019 As well as talking about her new Netflix movie Dumplin', Aniston discusses societal sexism, particularly in regard to the assumption that all women want children. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jennifer Aniston Just Opened Up About Her 'Very Successful' Marriages to Brad Pitt & Justin Theroux," 8 Dec. 2018 In addition, the targeted benefit improvements outlined here could help ensure that the system reflects societal changes that have occurred over the past 80 years. Alicia H. Munnell, WSJ, "Four Simple Changes to Bring Social Security Into the 21st Century," 16 Dec. 2018 The couples were recruited through an AIDS advocacy group called Baihualin, which works against societal discrimination of those infected with the disease. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Chinese Researcher Claims to Have Used CRISPR to Genetically Alter Twins," 26 Nov. 2018 Other brands, including Balenciaga and Everlane, aligned themselves with important environmental and societal causes. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "From Runway Protests to A #MeToo Blackout, Here Are 12 Ways Fashion Tried to Change The World in 2018," 19 Dec. 2018 Mark Bertolini, former chief executive of Aetna, said of the public and employee pressure to respond to societal and political flashpoints, also speaking at the Journal conference. Sarah Nassauer, WSJ, "How Dick’s Sporting Goods Decided to Change Its Gun Policy," 4 Dec. 2018

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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Statistics for societal

Last Updated

5 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for societal

The first known use of societal was in 1890

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More Definitions for societal



English Language Learners Definition of societal

formal : of or relating to society

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More from Merriam-Webster on societal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with societal

Nglish: Translation of societal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of societal for Arabic Speakers

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