[soh-shuh l] /ˈsoʊ ʃəl/

relating to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations:
a social club.
seeking or enjoying the companionship of others; friendly; sociable; gregarious.
of, relating to, connected with, or suited to polite or fashionable society:
a social event.
living or disposed to live in companionship with others or in a community, rather than in isolation:
People are social beings.
of or relating to human society, especially as a body divided into classes according to status:
social rank.
involved in many social activities:
We’re so busy working, we have to be a little less social now.
of or relating to the life, welfare, and relations of human beings in a community:
social problems.
noting or relating to activities designed to remedy or alleviate certain unfavorable conditions of life in a community, especially among the poor.
relating to or advocating the theory or system of .
Digital Technology. noting or relating to online technologies, activities, etc., that promote companionship or communication with friends and other personal contacts:
social websites such as Facebook; the use of social software to share expertise.
See also .
Zoology. living habitually together in communities, as bees or ants.
Compare (def 8).
Botany. growing in patches or clumps.
Rare. occurring or taking place between allies or confederates.
a social gathering or party, especially of or as given by an organized group:
a church social.
Digital Technology. :
photos posted to social.
living or preferring to live in a community rather than alone
denoting or relating to human society or any of its subdivisions
of, relating to, or characteristic of the experience, behaviour, and interaction of persons forming groups
relating to or having the purpose of promoting companionship, communal activities, etc: a social club
relating to or engaged in social services: a social worker
relating to or considered appropriate to a certain class of society, esp one thought superior
(esp of certain species of insects) living together in organized colonies: social bees Compare solitary (sense 6)
(of plant species) growing in clumps, usually over a wide area
an informal gathering, esp of an organized group, to promote companionship, communal activity, etc

late 15c., “devoted to or relating to home life;” 1560s as “living with others,” from Middle French social (14c.) and directly from Latin socialis “of companionship, of allies; united, living with others; of marriage, conjugal,” from socius “companion, ally,” probably originally “follower,” from PIE *sokw-yo-, suffixed form of root *sekw- (1) “to follow,” and thus related to sequi “to follow” (see sequel). Cf. Old English secg, Old Norse seggr “companion,” which seem to have been formed on the same notion). Related: Socially.

Sense of “characterized by friendliness or geniality” is from 1660s. Meaning “living or liking to live with others; companionable, disposed to friendly intercourse” is from 1720s. Meaning “of or pertaining to society as a natural condition of human life” first attested 1695, in Locke. Sense of “pertaining to fashionable society” is from 1873.

Social climber is from 1893; social work is 1890; social worker 1904. Social drink(ing) first attested 1976. Social studies as an inclusive term for history, geography, economics, etc., is attested from 1916. Social security “system of state support for needy citizens” is attested from 1908. Social butterfly is from 1867, in figurative reference to “flitting.”

Social contract (1849) ultimately is from Rousseau. Social Darwinism attested from 1887. Social engineering attested from 1899. Social science is from 1811. In late 19c. newspapers, social evil is “prostitution.” Social justice is attested by 1718; social network by 1971; social networking by 1984.

“friendly gathering,” 1870, from social (adj.). In late 17c. it meant “a companion, associate.”


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