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

No one knows what screens will make of society, good or bad. Nellie Bowles, New York Times, "Now Some Families Are Hiring Coaches to Help Them Raise Phone-Free Children," 6 July 2019 By the 1920s, The Afro reported, the town had become as swanky and exclusive as Monte Carlo or a beach in Southampton, allowing in only the wealthy elites of Baltimore and Washington’s black society, and barring uninvited guests. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "Remembering the African-American resort town in Maryland founded by Frederick Douglass' son," 5 July 2019 Social media may have the power to transform lives and society, but traditional attitudes endure—and the resulting clashes can be tragic. The Economist, "The life and death of a Pakistani social-media star," 4 July 2019 The Art of Imperfection’ is my commentary on the detriment of our hyper-perfectionist society and, in turn, how some of the most beautiful moments come from vulnerability, flaw, and leaving things to chance. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "Recent SCAD Grads and Fashion Designers Brandon Skipper, Linden Grace Colby, Haley Emerson, and Darren Apolonio Discuss The Current State of Fashion," 3 July 2019 Extremism comes in many sectarian shades and has evolved independently against a sense of malaise within various Muslim societies, sometimes because of European inroads and imperialism, and sometimes for entirely different reasons. Michael Rubin, National Review, "Turkey’s Africa Strategy Threatens to Breed Islamist Extremism," 26 June 2019 Gil Greengross, an anthropologist then at the University of New Mexico, noted that humor and laughter occur in every society, as well as in apes and even rats. Giovanni Sabato, Scientific American, "What’s So Funny? The Science of Why We Laugh," 26 June 2019 Prato said that if the nonprofit does end up departing the Hill Center, Hill’s papers and other important aspects of the collection could land with state and local historical societies, museums or institutions of higher education. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "James J. Hill Center will continue as a nonprofit, even if building may not," 24 June 2019 Noyola, who is a trans Latinx activist herself, works with members of her community to change the laws and the culture that keeps trans women on the outskirts of society, and has done so for the last decade. Alicia Garza, Marie Claire, "Trans Women Don’t Want Your Sympathy. They Want to Be Treated as Human Beings.," 24 June 2019

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

10 Jul 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 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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