Definition of social in US English:

social

adjective

  • 1attributive Relating to society or its organization.

    ‘alcoholism is recognized as a major social problem’
    ‘a traditional Japanese social structure’
    • ‘The aim is to raise standards in areas with social problems and therefore improve the average across the county.’
    • ‘Architecture has always been a mirror to the social structure of a society.’
    • ‘For centuries, marriage has been a basic element of social organization in societies around the world.’
    • ‘Very few organizations have completely homogeneous social structures.’
    • ‘Indeed, the rural exodus changed the social structure of the rural population in the South irrevocably.’
    • ‘Yesterday dozens of people attended a street party in Avebury Road, specially designed to break down social barriers.’
    • ‘To a certain degree, this can dilute the urge to protest in real life and is therefore useful for social stability.’
    • ‘A portion of the money raised will be donated to various civil rights and social organizations.’
    • ‘Policymakers are increasingly worried about social fragmentation within local communities.’
    • ‘He was also the founder of a number of educational and social organizations.’
    • ‘Let them hear from you with your ideas on how social and community problems can be tackled.’
    • ‘Binge drinking can cause significant health problems for young people and it is now clear it is a major social problem in our communities.’
    • ‘We have stated that we support business as long as it retains an ethical outlook with a concern for social responsibility and the community.’
    • ‘We should follow his example to meet our needs and social obligations.’
    • ‘Science as a social endeavor is seen as a collective project for the improvement of social structures.’
    • ‘His diaries indicated he is aware of the social crises in his community and does something about them.’
    • ‘Drawing on the support and resources of the community, known as social capital, is a common theme in ethnic enterprises.’
    • ‘The earliest Bulgarian American political organizations grew out of social need.’
    • ‘Devotees believe that, if enough people meditate in a community, social tensions ease and crime rates fall.’
    • ‘The Government has a key role to play in helping individuals and communities deal with the social effects of change.’
    communal, community, community-based, collective, group, general, popular, civil, civic, public, societal
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    1. 1.1 Relating to rank and status in society.
      ‘a recent analysis of social class in Britain’
      ‘her mother is a lady of the highest social standing’
      • ‘With this success has come lots of positions in government, and a new social status for election winners within the party.’
      • ‘Statistically, females tend to marry men with a higher social status.’
      • ‘Furthermore, clocks were a symbol of wealth and social status at that time.’
      • ‘Unlike the hereditary peerages of old, knighthoods are not bestowed according to birth or social status.’
      • ‘Class was defined as the individual's social status based partly on economic factors.’
      • ‘There is no distinction of class, wealth or social status made during the exercise, and all are treated as equal.’
      • ‘The rank and social standing of the subjects of portraiture are also expressed by conventions, which shift with time.’
      • ‘Money, social status, talent, opportunity and chance all define the contours of our inequality.’
      • ‘‘Women are not marrying for social status or financial security any more,’ he said.’
      • ‘My social status among my friends rocketed as I was the only one with my own television.’
      • ‘When there is no cash, there is no social mobility and therefore no threat to the status quo.’
      • ‘Sending a cool email link to a friend shows you are thinking of them and know what they like, and can therefore increase your social standing.’
      • ‘For centuries, spouse selection was subject to family status and social standing.’
      • ‘His elevated social status allowed him to speak out on issues in exactly the way that he saw fit, no matter what the consequences.’
      • ‘She said the amount of disposable income people had to spend on fruit and vegetables was related to social status.’
      • ‘You should feel proud of yourself for not being shallow and liking someone for social status or looks.’
      • ‘Annapolis had a large number of bachelors among those of high social rank.’
      • ‘Previously batik's motifs and colors indicated the social status of the users.’
      • ‘That was when the presence of imported equipment in the house spelt social status and turned the neighbours green with envy.’
      • ‘It seems that our perceptions of beauty are determined largely by our perceptions of social status.’
  • 2Needing companionship and therefore best suited to living in communities.

    ‘we are social beings as well as individuals’
    • ‘One is destined to become a vibrant community with a rich social mix and a youthful population.’
    • ‘As the primary unit of man's social living, the modern family has to grapple with several problems.’
    • ‘She began to make friends and become social.’
    • ‘Children become social companions rather than problems, although your wallet needs to be guarded - more than ever.’
    • ‘He has become social with other children, engages in imaginary play, and has started to potty train!’
    1. 2.1 Relating to or designed for activities in which people meet each other for pleasure.
      ‘Guy led a full social life’
      • ‘Generations have grown up honing their sporting and social skills at the community games.’
      • ‘She was a keen card player, and it took her into the community as a social occasion amongst the people she had served all her life.’
      • ‘The Club meets for social tennis every Sunday afternoon and it is hoped to have regular members' sessions at other times.’
      • ‘Both Miki and I are really sociable people and the thing I missed most was social company.’
      • ‘The committee of Erins Own invites all members of the community to this social night out.’
      • ‘She is as sharp as a tack, but excellent company in a social setting.’
      • ‘She had come bent on changing us, like she often did after social calls in such company.’
      • ‘Friday concluded with a social evening in Ballintogher Community Centre.’
      • ‘A youth shelter is designed to meet the social needs of young people where they can sit and talk.’
      • ‘We are at the beginning of a Golden Age of social software, software designed to support the interactions of groups of people.’
      • ‘Beverley, a cosmetics factory worker, met Whelby in 1984 at a social club in Skelmersdale.’
      • ‘It's always unsettling when friends leave: it creates a huge gap in the community and on the social calendar.’
      • ‘No job was ever too big for Alvina to tackle, and at the end of a long day she still had energy for the social activities she so greatly enjoyed.’
      • ‘Elizabeth enjoys the social interaction, the companionship and the activities.’
      • ‘In other words, weblogs create particular spaces and times in which social activity may, and does, occur.’
      • ‘He can be captivating company and, in social circles, very likeable.’
      • ‘The Foxford Card Games are a community social event on Tuesday nights and all are welcome.’
      • ‘He said the club's social activities have ranged from football to having its own choral society.’
      • ‘The group arranges social facilities and community support for lonely, mentally and emotionally unwell people.’
      • ‘The March meeting concluded with a social chat and a very nice supper hosted by Mary Delaney and Margaret Collier.’
      recreational, entertainment, amusement, leisure
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  • 3Zoology
    (of a bird) gregarious; breeding or nesting in colonies.

    • ‘The African Jacana is another bird that has unique social and mating behaviour.’
    • ‘Endemic to the South Island, the kea is a highly intelligent, curious, social, and adaptable bird.’
    • ‘Swifts tend to be social species and will feed and roost in large mixed-species flocks.’
    • ‘Pigeons and doves can be solitary to very social and can be found in flocks of several thousand.’
    • ‘Waxwings are social birds and where suitable food supplies are found, flocks of several hundred birds have been recorded here.’
    gregarious, organized, civilized, interactional
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    1. 3.1 (of an insect) living together in organized communities, typically with different castes, as ants, bees, wasps, and termites do.
      • ‘Studying more on social insects, he knew that males existed, but were rarely as powerful as the queen.’
      • ‘Common wasps are social insects and live in nests of up to around 10,000 workers.’
      • ‘Native social bees visit only male inflorescences in search of pollen and nectar.’
      • ‘One of the baffling things about social insects such as ants is how their co-operative behaviour has evolved.’
      • ‘Various models have been presented to account for division of labor in social insects.’
    2. 3.2 (of a mammal) living together in groups, typically in a hierarchical system with complex communication.
      • ‘Chimps are social animals and live in groups of up to 80 where food is plentiful.’
      • ‘You know in that sense obviously we have evolved from social primates.’
      • ‘Rabbits are intelligent social animals who need affection.’
      • ‘Horses are social animals.’
      • ‘This should not surprise us - it is, in some degree, a characteristic of most social mammals.’

noun

  • An informal social gathering, especially one organized by the members of a particular club or group.

    ‘a church social’
    • ‘The snowshoe club socials also re-created the Beaver Club meetings held in Montreal in the winter season.’
    • ‘Those years are the important ones where my peers learned, at school dances, youth clubs, church socials, parties, etc. all the rules of social interaction and behaviour that passed me right by.’
    • ‘At parent-teachers meetings, open-houses, and school socials, parents seem to be filled with pride and confidence about the school.’
    • ‘The Anzac Club in Dunedin ran socials for the men in training at the Air Force base at Taieri and the army unit at Taiaroa Heads.’
    • ‘Bearden's colorful, innovative collages document jazz performances, church socials, and other elements of black culture from the 1940s though his death in 1988.’
    • ‘Mainly we played for our own entertainment as well as church socials and cabarets.’
    • ‘Clough Hall was a great dancing place in yonder years, and now it is re-opened to some great socials.’
    • ‘In lazy summer days, it is usually time for parades, ice cream socials and county fairs.’
    • ‘A number of fundraising socials will be held within the county from now up to Christmas.’
    • ‘Typical chapters enjoy socials that range from informal gatherings to gala affairs.’
    • ‘For one of the society's projects-the construction of a music hall-the alumnae raised money with ice cream socials, strawberry festivals, bazaars, and operettas, one of which Zitella directed.’
    • ‘The meetings branched out into socials and cultural events that covered every aspect of members' interests from science to film and cycling clubs.’
    • ‘He began singing and playing in churches, socials, and fairs all around their hometown in Eastern Kentucky.’
    • ‘Members may go on trips, attend lectures, participate in art tours and attend dinners and socials.’
    • ‘I'd love going to school discos, parties or Saturday night socials and just dance, dance, dance.’
    • ‘Students should attend conferences, events, socials, seminars, and other networking opportunities.’
    • ‘Others organize socials, dinners, and information sessions and advertise among men who are already active in campus religious groups.’
    • ‘The late Dr. Cawley was chairman of the Swinford Branch for many years and ensured regular meetings were held and socials organised, as well as the annual church gate collections.’
    • ‘According to Haynes, the idea behind the club is, ‘We are always fundraising and having socials for ourselves.’’
    • ‘Young people meet at funerals, weddings, churches, and school socials.’
    party, gathering, social gathering, social occasion, social event, social function, function, get-together, celebration, reunion, festivity, jamboree, reception, at-home, soirée
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Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin socialis ‘allied’, from socius ‘friend’.

Pronunciation

social

/ˈsoʊʃəl//ˈsōSHəl/