so·ci·ol·o·gy | \ˌsō-sē-ˈä-lə-jē, 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- \ noun

Examples of sociology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Alicia Walker, an assistant professor of sociology at the Missouri State University, is asking people to send in pictures of their penises for a scientific study, according to The Springfield News-Leader. Josh Magness, kansascity, "This professor wants to see pictures of your penis — for science," 26 June 2018 Trenton State College provided me with a sociology professor who had researched the linguistic and cultural history of the hoagie. Thomas Swick, Longreads, "Letters from Trenton," 5 July 2018 Camp, who studied sociology and business at Leeds Trinity University, got his first music business job with the U.K. office of Australia’s Mushroom Records. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Billboard's 73 International Power Players Revealed: Ed Sheeran's Manager Stuart Camp Leads The Field," 21 May 2018 Education: Bachelor’s in sociology from Harvard College; master’s in public policy from the University of Maryland. Fenit Nirappil, Washington Post, "Where the candidates for D.C. Council chair stand on the issues," 11 June 2018 Alex Press is an assistant editor at Jacobin and a PhD student in sociology at Northeastern University. Alex Press, Vox, "The record-low birthrate offers yet another sign that millennials are economically screwed," 31 May 2018 Muggy is a native Oregonian, graduating with a bachelor's of science degree in sociology from the University of Oregon. Rosemarie Stein,, "Business Movers: Washington County Dental Society names Susan Weinberg president," 23 May 2018 Pamerleau holds a master’s degree in public administration from Golden Gate University, a bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of Wyoming, and is a graduate of the FBI’s National Executive Institute. Caleb Downs, San Antonio Express-News, "Trump to nominate Susan Pamerleau for U.S. marshal," 26 Apr. 2018 Brye already holds a master's degree in sociology, and is preparing her prospectus in pursuit of a doctoral degree in instructional design from USA. Michael Dumas,, "Extraordinary! By Design shows clients how to spread the learning," 15 Apr. 2018

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

1 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for sociology

The first known use of sociology was in 1842

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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, ˌsō-shē- \
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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Comments on sociology

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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