society

noun
so·​ci·​e·​ty | \ sə-ˈsī-ə-tē \
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

The dismissal of Black victims—whether subconscious or not—is directly linked to society's history of hypersexualizing the black body. Alexis Jones, Marie Claire, "R. Kelly Docuseries Reminds Us That Not All Stories of Sexual Assault Are Treated Equally," 11 Jan. 2019 Deborah’s mother was once vice president of the New York Vegetarian society; for a while the family lived as fruitarians. Daisy Finer, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Golden Door Is the World's Most Iconic Spa," 21 Dec. 2018 Social media is an opportunity in repressed societies. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: NBC journalists Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell and Hallie Jackson on Recode Decode," 5 Dec. 2018 Within hundreds of years of first contact in Iron Gates, complex agricultural societies sprang up in southeastern Europe, along with other advances, such as intricate metalwork. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 But what happens when society seems to be decaying, regardless of individual efforts towards personal improvement? Danny Heitman, WSJ, "‘Clean Curtains’ and New Year’s Resolutions," 30 Dec. 2018 Ancients societies had figured out similar ways to determine dates independently of each other, be they in southern Turkey or northern Spain. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Cave Paintings Suggest Ancient Humans Understood the Stars Much Better Than We Thought," 29 Nov. 2018 Social norms are real important to how society works. Eric Johnson, Recode, "American capitalism broke in the 1980s. Can it be fixed?," 7 Nov. 2018 While some people view photos with flecks of light—or orbs, as they're often known—as a sign of supernatural activity, the society doesn't. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "4 Signs Your House Might Be Haunted," 5 Oct. 2018

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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Statistics for society

Last Updated

23 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for society

The first known use of society was circa 1513

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More Definitions for society

society

noun

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 \
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 \
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 \ adjective

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Comments on society

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