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

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 DuBois, who studied at Fisk University, later earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees at Harvard, and studied sociology for two years at the University of Berlin. Valerie Russ,, "What do you know about W.E.B. DuBois and his connection to Philadelphia? Here's a primer for a 'Year of DuBois'," 2 Feb. 2018 Michele Lamont, a Harvard professor who studies sociology, Africa and African-American studies, examined Trump's appeals to the working class in 73 campaign speeches. Gregory Korte, USA TODAY, "Over 24 hours, Trump exhibits two starkly different attitudes toward race in America," 12 Jan. 2018 Norman received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Washington in 2013, according to his LinkedIn profile. Sara Jean Green, The Seattle Times, "Seattle man charged in Lake City shootings says he was drunk, doesn’t recall rampage, police say," 31 Mar. 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

7 Jul 2019

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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 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

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


to form ideas or theories about something

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