[uh-soh-see-ey-shuhn, -shee-]
See more synonyms for association on
  1. an organization of people with a common purpose and having a formal structure.
  2. the act of associating or state of being associated.
  3. friendship; companionship: Their close association did not last long.
  4. connection or combination.
  5. the connection or relation of ideas, feelings, sensations, etc.; correlation of elements of perception, reasoning, or the like.
  6. an idea, image, feeling, etc., suggested by or connected with something other than itself; an accompanying thought, emotion, or the like; an overtone or connotation: My associations with that painting are of springlike days.
  7. Ecology. a group of plants of one or more species living together under uniform environmental conditions and having a uniform and distinctive aspect.
  8. Chemistry. a weak form of chemical bonding involving aggregation of molecules of the same compound.
  9. touch football.
  10. Astronomy. stellar association.

Origin of association

1525–35; (< Middle French) < Medieval Latin associātiōn- (stem of associātiō). See associate, -ion
Related formsas·so·ci·a·tion·al, adjectivein·ter·as·so·ci·a·tion, nounnon·as·so·ci·a·tion, nounnon·as·so·ci·a·tion·al, adjectivepro·as·so·ci·a·tion, adjectivepseu·do·as·so·ci·a·tion·al, adjectivere·as·so·ci·a·tion, nounsub·as·so·ci·a·tion, nounsub·as·so·ci·a·tion·al, adjective

Synonyms for association

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for association


  1. a group of people having a common purpose or interest; a society or club
  2. the act of associating or the state of being associated
  3. friendship or companionshiptheir association will not last
  4. a mental connection of ideas, feelings, or sensationsassociation of revolution with bloodshed
  5. psychol the mental process of linking ideas so that the recurrence of one idea automatically recalls the otherSee also free association
  6. chem the formation of groups of molecules and ions, esp in liquids, held together by weak chemical bonds
  7. ecology a group of similar plants that grow in a uniform environment and contain one or more dominant species
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

Word Origin and History for association

1530s, "action of coming together," from Medieval Latin associationem (nominative associatio), noun of action from past participle stem of associare (see associate). Meaning "a body of persons with a common purpose" is from 1650s. Meaning "mental connection" is from 1680s; that of "quality or thing called to mind by something else" is from 1810.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

association in Medicine


[ə-sō′sē-āshən, -shē-]
  1. A connection of persons, things, or ideas by some common factor; union.
  2. A functional connection of two ideas, events, or psychological phenomena established through learning or experience.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

association in Science


[ə-sō′sē-āshən, -shē-]
  1. A large number of organisms in a specific geographic area constituting a community with one or two dominant species.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.