[soh-shuh l]
See more synonyms for social on
  1. relating to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations: a social club.
  2. seeking or enjoying the companionship of others; friendly; sociable; gregarious.
  3. of, relating to, connected with, or suited to polite or fashionable society: a social event.
  4. living or disposed to live in companionship with others or in a community, rather than in isolation: People are social beings.
  5. of or relating to human society, especially as a body divided into classes according to status: social rank.
  6. involved in many social activities: We're so busy working, we have to be a little less social now.
  7. of or relating to the life, welfare, and relations of human beings in a community: social problems.
  8. noting or relating to activities designed to remedy or alleviate certain unfavorable conditions of life in a community, especially among the poor.
  9. relating to or advocating the theory or system of socialism.
  10. 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.
  11. Zoology. living habitually together in communities, as bees or ants.Compare solitary(def 8).
  12. Botany. growing in patches or clumps.
  13. Rare. occurring or taking place between allies or confederates.
  1. a social gathering or party, especially of or as given by an organized group: a church social.
  2. Digital Technology. social media: photos posted to social.

Origin of social

1555–65; < Latin sociālis, equivalent to soci(us) partner, comrade + -ālis -al1
Related formsso·cial·ly, adverbso·cial·ness, nounhy·per·so·cial, adjectivehy·per·so·cial·ly, adverbin·ter·so·cial, adjectivenon·so·cial, adjectivenon·so·cial·ly, adverbnon·so·cial·ness, nouno·ver·so·cial, adjectiveo·ver·so·cial·ly, adverbpre·so·cial, adjectivepseu·do·so·cial, adjectivepseu·do·so·cial·ly, adverbun·so·cial, adjectiveun·so·cial·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for socially

Contemporary Examples of socially

Historical Examples of socially

  • Neither was their personality stamped in any way, professionally, socially or racially.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • They may be of value to you in your campaign, or socially, or somehow.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • And then—you remember that talk we had, in which you said I could help you—socially, you know.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

  • Problem II: To show how neighborhoods are socially bound up.

    College Teaching

    Paul Klapper

  • Communities have been chaotic, socially, economically, and educationally.

British Dictionary definitions for socially


  1. living or preferring to live in a community rather than alone
  2. denoting or relating to human society or any of its subdivisions
  3. of, relating to, or characteristic of the experience, behaviour, and interaction of persons forming groups
  4. relating to or having the purpose of promoting companionship, communal activities, etca social club
  5. relating to or engaged in social servicesa social worker
  6. relating to or considered appropriate to a certain class of society, esp one thought superior
  7. (esp of certain species of insects) living together in organized coloniessocial bees Compare solitary (def. 6)
  8. (of plant species) growing in clumps, usually over a wide area
  1. an informal gathering, esp of an organized group, to promote companionship, communal activity, etc
Derived Formssocially, adverbsocialness, noun

Word Origin for social

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

Word Origin and History for socially



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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper