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90s Slang You Should Know


[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 socialism.
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 social media.
Zoology. living habitually together in communities, as bees or ants.
Compare solitary (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. social media:
photos posted to social.
Origin of social
1555-65; < Latin sociālis, equivalent to soci(us) partner, comrade + -ālis -al1
Related forms
socially, adverb
socialness, noun
hypersocial, adjective
hypersocially, adverb
intersocial, adjective
nonsocial, adjective
nonsocially, adverb
nonsocialness, noun
oversocial, adjective
oversocially, adverb
presocial, adjective
pseudosocial, adjective
pseudosocially, adverb
unsocial, adjective
unsocially, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unsocial
Historical Examples
  • Aloofly though the Deanite lives, he is not altogether an unsocial being.

  • The unsocial smoke was at length ended, and the negotiation began.

    The Scalp Hunters Mayne Reid
  • But thou must equally avoid nattering men and being vexed at them, for both are unsocial and lead to harm.

    Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
  • I was twice her age, an awkward, unsocial man, that would have blighted her youth.

    Quite So Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  • He is often overcome by gloom, and then he sits by himself, and tries to overcome all that is sullen or unsocial in his humour.

    Frankenstein Mary Shelley
  • An unsocial man is as devoid of influence as an ice-peak is of verdure.

  • Even a Friar Tuck is not so repulsive to us as an unsocial, austere, narrow-minded, and ignorant fanatic of the eleventh century.

  • For the greater part of the time we remained as unsocial as the weather was unpleasant.

  • When it was said that he was unsocial and cynical, it was forgotten that these very remarks were enough to make him so.

    Archibald Malmaison Julian Hawthorne
  • The natural relations of man to man are those of an unsocial sociableness.

British Dictionary definitions for unsocial


not social; antisocial
(of the hours of work of certain jobs) falling outside the normal working day


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
Derived Forms
socially, adverb
socialness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin sociālis companionable, from socius a comrade
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unsocial



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."



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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