[ fohk-weyz ]
/ ˈfoʊkˌweɪz /

plural noun Sociology.

the ways of living, thinking, and acting in a human group, built up without conscious design but serving as compelling guides of conduct.

Nearby words

  1. folks,
  2. folksonomy,
  3. folksy,
  4. folktale,
  5. folktronica,
  6. folky,
  7. foll.,
  8. folliberin,
  9. follicle,
  10. follicle mite

Origin of folkways

folk + ways; term introduced in a book of the same title (1907) by W. G. Sumner Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for folkways

British Dictionary definitions for folkways


/ (ˈfəʊkˌweɪz) /

pl n

sociol traditional and customary ways of living
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 folkways



coined 1907 in book of the same name by U.S. sociologist William Graham Sumner (1840-1910), who also is credited with ethnocentrism, found in the same book.

Folkways are habits of the individual and customs of the society which arise from efforts to satisfy needs. ... Then they become regulative for succeeding generations and take on the character of a social force. [Sumner, "Folkways"]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper