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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But even despite our society's evolving views on beauty, the depiction of the French-girl archetype has remained shockingly stagnant. Leah Prinzivalli, Glamour, "10 Women Who Defy the 'French-Girl Beauty' Trope," 14 July 2018 Every Republican should answer for the breakdown of decency in our society. Ted Slowik, Daily Southtown, "Slowik: Trump, race and why it seems like a hate-fueled confrontation might happen anywhere, anytime," 12 July 2018 But if this venture succeeds, there’s nothing that could be done, aside from changing human nature, that would be more constructive for our society. Sam Tanenhaus, Town & Country, "Can Chris Whittle Launch a Truly Global School?," 10 July 2018 University Press, 2018 ($35) Genetically, race is a meaningless concept, yet our society seems far from ready to stop dividing people into racial categories. Andrea Gawrylewski, Scientific American, "The True Point of Searching for Alien Life; the Misuse of Genetics and Other New Science Books," 3 July 2018 Because Republicanism is a wrecking ball against any kind of balance or continuity in our society. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Anthony Kennedy and the Death of True American Conservatism," 29 June 2018 These limited, practical revisions to the Goldwater rule would correct its most severe shortcomings and facilitate psychiatrists’ responsible engagement with our complex society. Leonard L. Glass, STAT, "The Goldwater rule is broken. Here’s how to fix it," 28 June 2018 Civic institutions foster solidarity, reminding citizens that there is such a thing as society. The Economist, "Does inequality cause suicide, drug abuse and mental illness?," 14 June 2018 Investors are increasingly demanding that companies provide information about their impact on the environment and on society and their policies on governance. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "#MeToo Is Not a Buying Opportunity for Investors," 12 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about society

Statistics for society

Last Updated

2 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for society

The first known use of society was circa 1513

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on society

What made you want to look up society? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!