Definition of social engineering in US English:

social engineering

noun

  • 1The use of centralized planning in an attempt to manage social change and regulate the future development and behavior of a society.

    ‘the country's unique blend of open economics, authoritarian politics, and social engineering’
    • ‘People are sick and tired of social engineering, because it is all about trying to control the way they think and the way they lead their lives.’
    • ‘In the gospels of social engineering this transformation was leading to a future Utopia of welfare capitalism.’
    • ‘Meaningful integration has always been a result of persistent social engineering.’
    • ‘We have a bill that will introduce this Government's agenda of social engineering.’
    • ‘One would hope that the lessons had been learnt from these experiments in social engineering and urban redesign, but the signs are not good.’
    • ‘To force a social mix via drastic social engineering - bussing was one example - is not politically feasible.’
    • ‘From their privileged position as experts, they have attempted social engineering through their work.’
    • ‘They were relying on social engineering to create and enforce the rules.’
    • ‘It stands at the cutting edge of science, social engineering and politics, where the future is predicted before it happens.’
    • ‘Academics have attacked the plans as making social engineering part of the admissions process rather than pure academic merit.’
    • ‘Why then, since we all accept that education is, in many ways, a form of social engineering, are manners not part of the school curriculum?’
    • ‘Child labour can be eradicated only by social engineering on a major scale combined with national economic growth.’
    • ‘This is called social engineering: a group of bureaucrats deciding what is best for the economy.’
    • ‘Social engineering got a bad name in the 1980s, but all politics and most public health is social engineering.’
  • 2(in the context of information security) the use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes.

    ‘people with an online account should watch for phishing attacks and other forms of social engineering’
    as modifier ‘he's seen everything from the most devious hacks to the simplest social engineering scams’

Pronunciation

social engineering

/ˈsōSHəl ˌenjəˈni(ə)riNG//ˈsoʊʃəl ˌɛndʒəˈnɪ(ə)rɪŋ/