society

1 of 2

noun

so·​ci·​e·​ty sə-ˈsī-ə-tē How to pronounce society (audio)
plural societies
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
3
a
: 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
4
a
: 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
5
a
: 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

2 of 2

adjective

: of, relating to, or typical of fashionable society

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Already misanthropic, Cassie now feels even more alienated from society. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Feb. 2024 So here, the consensus model leads to social solidarity wherein collective conscience operates as a unifying force within the society. Sindhu Bhaskar, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 Whichever society merges biological and technological evolution first will—with the power of quantum computing and artificial intelligence—out-evolve, and thus erase, all other societies. Elliot Ackerman, WIRED, 12 Feb. 2024 Burke, however, disregarded the order and continued across the open lake, the society said. Lauren Liebhaber, Kansas City Star, 12 Feb. 2024 These are just two examples of how our courts are constantly striving to deliver fair and unbiased justice, reflecting the diverse voices and perspectives of our society. Natalie Hudson, Twin Cities, 11 Feb. 2024 The starting point is an abstract representation of a canoe, which, since the earliest Samoans rowed to shore from other islands, signals the start of Samoan society. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 10 Feb. 2024 The acting, the haircuts, the score, the wardrobe, the screenplay—all of those elements came together to masterfully depict and humanize a facet of society that is still profoundly misunderstood. Lisa Wong MacAbasco, Vogue, 10 Feb. 2024 Researchers and civil society organizations that had built relationships with the platform’s trust and safety teams in order to alert them to hateful or problematic content quickly found themselves without anyone left at the platform to contact. Vittoria Elliott, WIRED, 1 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'society.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle French societé, from Latin societat-, societas, from socius companion — more at social

First Known Use

Noun

circa 1513, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1693, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of society was circa 1513

Dictionary Entries Near society

Cite this Entry

“Society.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/society. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

society

1 of 2 noun
so·​ci·​ety
sə-ˈsī-ət-ē
plural societies
1
: the community life thought of as a system within which the individual lives
rural society
2
: people for the most part
the benefit of society
3
: an association of persons for some purpose
the school French society
4
: a part of a community thought of as a unit set apart by common interests or values
especially : the group or set of fashionable persons
5
: a system or group of living things that depend on each other and usually form a social unit (as a hive of bees)
6
: the state of being with other people
societal
-ət-ᵊl
adjective

society

2 of 2 adjective
: of, relating to, or characteristic of fashionable society

Legal Definition

society

noun
so·​ci·​e·​ty sə-ˈsī-ə-tē How to pronounce society (audio)
plural societies
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
societal adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on society

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