so·​ci·​ol·​o·​gy | \ ˌsō-sē-ˈä-lə-jē How to pronounce sociology (audio) , ˌsō-shē-\

Definition of sociology

1 : the science of society, social institutions, and social relationships specifically : the systematic study of the development, structure, interaction, and collective behavior of organized groups of human beings
2 : the scientific analysis of a social institution as a functioning whole and as it relates to the rest of society

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Other Words from sociology

sociologist \ ˌsō-​sē-​ˈä-​lə-​jist ˌsō-​shē-​ How to pronounce sociologist (audio) \ noun

Examples of sociology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Having a degree in hand was on the list, and Wilson earned his in sociology. Andrew Turner,, "Mr. Irrelevant Caleb Wilson gets star treatment from NFL Network," 2 July 2019 Its role as a bridge to middle-class success is assumed—though bourgeois comfort is rather hard to achieve these days with a B.A. in English literature or a degree in, say, sociology. Allen C. Guelzo, WSJ, "‘Restoring the Promise’ Review: High Cost, Low Yield," 24 June 2019 Griffith, a graduate of St. John’s School, majored in psychology, with a minor in sociology at Colgate. Houston Chronicle, "Houston-area students earn college honors nationwide," 21 June 2019 Many of the exercises had the sort of open-ended approaches that have long been the province of sociology classes and business retreats. New York Times, "Starbucks’s Tall Order: Tackle Systemic Racism in 4 Hours," 29 May 2018 Nelson needed to take several sociology classes and a religion class to compete his degree requirements. Dick Jerardi,, "Jameer Nelson reflects on journey to St. Joe's graduation: 'It just takes a little bit of courage' | Dick Jerardi," 15 May 2018 The couple met in sociology class and were married for 34 years. Karie Angell Luc,, "GBN coach Mark Rebora remembered: "He would want us to smile today"," 17 Apr. 2018 Ray, the sociology professor at the University of Maryland, said efforts to collect data on race and ethnicity for people who come into contact with police is more challenging in areas where there is a high Hispanic population., "Police shootings in Arizona," 19 June 2019 While attending Tokyo Women's Christian University to study sociology, her friends started to pay her to tidy up their rooms. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Marie Kondo's Massive Net Worth Proves That It Pays to Keep a Tidy House," 16 Jan. 2019

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

1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sociology

French sociologie, from socio- + -logie -logy

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Statistics for sociology

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sociology

The first known use of sociology was in 1842

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More Definitions for sociology



English Language Learners Definition of sociology

: the study of society, social institutions, and social relationships


so·​ci·​ol·​o·​gy | \ ˌsō-sē-ˈäl-ə-jē How to pronounce sociology (audio) , ˌsō-shē- How to pronounce sociology (audio) \
plural sociologies

Medical Definition of sociology

: the science of society, social institutions, and social relationships specifically : the systematic study of the development, structure, interaction, and collective behavior of organized groups of human beings

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More from Merriam-Webster on sociology

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sociology

Spanish Central: Translation of sociology

Nglish: Translation of sociology for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sociology for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sociology

Comments on sociology

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an act or instance of editing or removing

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