society

noun
so·​ci·​e·​ty | \ sə-ˈsī-ə-tē How to pronounce society (audio) \
plural societies

Definition of society

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : companionship or association with one's fellows : friendly or intimate intercourse : company
2 : a voluntary association of individuals for common ends especially : an organized group working together or periodically meeting because of common interests, beliefs, or profession
3a : an enduring and cooperating social group whose members have developed organized patterns of relationships through interaction with one another
b : a community, nation, or broad grouping of people having common traditions, institutions, and collective activities and interests
4a : a part of a community that is a unit distinguishable by particular aims or standards of living or conduct : a social circle or a group of social circles having a clearly marked identity literary society
b : a part of the community that sets itself apart as a leisure class and that regards itself as the arbiter of fashion and manners
5a : a natural group of plants usually of a single species or habit within an association
b : the progeny of a pair of insects when constituting a social unit (such as a hive of bees) broadly : an interdependent system of organisms or biological units

society

adjective

Definition of society (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or typical of fashionable society

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Examples of society in a Sentence

Noun Poverty hurts society as a whole. We need to do more to help the poorer members of our society. the values of Western society She was introduced to society at a formal reception. The club's members are drawn from the ranks of high society.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In one episode, the hosts discuss the Y2K-bug scare, in which people feared that the year 2000 would cause computer systems—and society at large—to crash. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "How We Lie to Ourselves About History," 12 Oct. 2020 The McCain matriarch’s spunky personality became the stuff of stories for the family — and among those in their circle of Washington society. NBC News, "Roberta McCain, John McCain's mother, dies at 108," 12 Oct. 2020 Any society has to rely on government for two things fundamentally. Rey Mashayekhi, Fortune, "The system is ‘rigged’: Robert Reich on the Supreme Court, economic inequality, and his Twitter beef with Elon Musk," 12 Oct. 2020 Going to school as an African American male is a very different experience in today’s society. Marcus Hunter Ii, Star Tribune, "Imagine you are a Black male teen in north Minneapolis," 12 Oct. 2020 In today's society, auctions go beyond just selling art and artifacts to the highest bidder, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which distributes the award, noted in a press release. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Americans are racing to create new businesses during the pandemic," 12 Oct. 2020 Activists’ participation on tech platforms was largely about using any means necessary to achieve a more just society. Joan Donovan, Scientific American, "Trolling for Truth on Social Media," 12 Oct. 2020 There is some debate among historical society members as to when the jail was actually open for inmates. Kim Chatelain | Contributing Writer, NOLA.com, "City saving, renovating old Mandeville jail near Lake Pontchartrain," 11 Oct. 2020 But in outlook and in sentiment, Taiwan society is more and more intent on charting its own course, with a greater number of its citizens supporting independence, and identifying themselves as Taiwanese, as opposed to Chinese. Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, "Taiwan Is the Next Front in the U.S.-China Standoff," 10 Oct. 2020

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

Noun

circa 1513, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1693, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for society

Noun

Middle French societé, from Latin societat-, societas, from socius companion — more at social

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Time Traveler for society

Time Traveler

The first known use of society was circa 1513

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Statistics for society

Last Updated

17 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Society.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/society. Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for society

society

noun
How to pronounce society (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of society

: people in general thought of as living together in organized communities with shared laws, traditions, and values
: the people of a particular country, area, time, etc., thought of especially as an organized community
: people who are fashionable and wealthy

society

noun
so·​ci·​ety | \ sə-ˈsī-ə-tē How to pronounce society (audio) \
plural societies

Kids Definition of society

1 : a community or group of people having common traditions, institutions, and interests medieval society western society
2 : all of the people of the world Medical advances help society.
3 : a group of persons with a common interest, belief, or purpose historical societies
4 : friendly association with others He avoided the society of other painters.

society

noun
so·​ci·​e·​ty | \ sə-ˈsī-ə-tē How to pronounce society (audio) \
plural societies

Legal Definition of society

1 : the benefits of love, care, affection, and companionship that family members receive from each other sought damages for loss of society from his wife's wrongful death — compare consortium
2 : a voluntary association of individuals dedicated to common ends a conservation society
3 : a community, nation, or broad grouping of people having common traditions, institutions, and collective activities and interests

Other Words from society

societal \ -​sī-​ət-​ᵊl How to pronounce societal (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on society

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