View synonyms for society


[ suh-sahy-i-tee ]


, plural so·ci·e·ties.
  1. an organized group of persons associated together for religious, benevolent, cultural, scientific, political, patriotic, or other purposes.

    Synonyms: company, brotherhood, fraternity, fellowship, association

  2. a body of individuals living as members of a community; community.
  3. the body of human beings generally, associated or viewed as members of a community:

    the evolution of human society.

  4. a highly structured system of human organization for large-scale community living that normally furnishes protection, continuity, security, and a national identity for its members:

    American society.

  5. such a system characterized by its dominant economic class or form:

    middle-class society;

    industrial society.

  6. those with whom one has companionship.
  7. companionship; company:

    to enjoy the society of good friends.

    Synonyms: fellowship

  8. the social life of wealthy, prominent, or fashionable persons.
  9. the social class that comprises such persons.
  10. the condition of those living in companionship with others, or in a community, rather than in isolation.
  11. Biology. a closely integrated group of social organisms of the same species exhibiting division of labor.
  12. Ecclesiastical. ecclesiastical society.


  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of elegant society:

    a society photographer.


/ səˈsaɪətɪ /


  1. the totality of social relationships among organized groups of human beings or animals
  2. a system of human organizations generating distinctive cultural patterns and institutions and usually providing protection, security, continuity, and a national identity for its members
  3. such a system with reference to its mode of social and economic organization or its dominant class

    middle-class society

  4. those with whom one has companionship
  5. an organized group of people associated for some specific purpose or on account of some common interest

    a learned society

    1. the privileged class of people in a community, esp as considered superior or fashionable
    2. ( as modifier )

      a society woman

  6. the social life and intercourse of such people

    to enter society as a debutante

  7. companionship; the fact or state of being together with someone else

    I enjoy her society

  8. ecology a small community of plants within a larger association

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Other Words From

  • so·cie·ty·less adjective
  • inter·so·cie·ty adjective
  • nonso·cie·ty noun plural nonsocieties
  • subso·cie·ty noun plural subsocieties
  • under·so·cie·ty noun plural undersocieties

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Word History and Origins

Origin of society1

First recorded in 1525–35; from Middle French societe, from Latin societās, equivalent to soci(us) “partner, comrade” + -etās, variant of -itās -ity ( def ) after a vowel

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Word History and Origins

Origin of society1

C16: via Old French societé from Latin societās, from socius a comrade

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Idioms and Phrases

see under mutual admiration society .

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Synonym Study

See circle.

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Example Sentences

Half a century later, it is clear that this narrow, stockholder-centered view of corporations has cost society severely.

From Fortune

Brazil’s Civil Rights Framework was society’s response to similar attempts by the government to censor the internet.

The goal is to create a society that treats everyone equally, and that gives everyone, including the most vulnerable members of our society, a fighting chance to succeed.

I think the most important thing is to consider what is good for the overall community, and we all want the overall society to recover as soon as possible.

From Fortune

We have gotten away from our source and this has caused our societies to be imbalanced.

As an example of good science-and-society policymaking, the history of fluoride may be more of a cautionary tale.

“The institution of marraige [sic] is under attack in our society and it needs to be strengthened,” Bush wrote.

Those are troubling numbers, for unfettered speech is not incidental to a flourishing society.

Compared with neighbors Myanmar, Vietnam, and Laos, Cambodia appears to have a blossoming civil society.

Strangio is at his best when exposing what appears to be a flourishing civil society in Cambodia.

Those in whom the impulse is strong and dominant are perhaps those who in later years make the good society actors.

I haven't much time for seeing any one, except my patients, and the people I meet in society.

William has thus been happily able to report to the society the approaching conversion of M'Bongo and his imminent civilization.

The blind Samson of labor will seize upon the pillars of society and bring them down in a common destruction.

He has told me that their society produced on him the effect of the cool hands of saints against his cheek.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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