[ soh-see-ol-uh-jee, soh-shee- ]
See synonyms for sociology on
  1. the science or study of the origin, development, organization, and functioning of human society; the science of the fundamental laws of social relations, institutions, etc.

Origin of sociology

From the French word sociologie, dating back to 1835–45. See socio-, -logy

Other words from sociology

  • so·ci·ol·o·gist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use sociology in a sentence

  • I venture to hope that historian and sociologist may find valuable facts and suggestions in this book.

  • They would indeed suggest very interesting topics to the general historian or 'sociologist.'

  • He was a sociologist—a loose title which covers a great deal of inquisitive investigation into other people's affairs.

    The Angel of Terror | Edgar Wallace
  • But it is the amateur sociologist alone who is able to give us a nightmare.

  • Hamsun the sociologist is not on a par with Hamsun the poet.

    Knut Hamsun | Hanna Astrup Larsen

British Dictionary definitions for sociology


/ (ˌsəʊsɪˈɒlədʒɪ) /

  1. the study of the development, organization, functioning, and classification of human societies

Derived forms of sociology

  • sociological (ˌsəʊsɪəˈlɒdʒɪkəl), adjective
  • sociologically, adverb
  • sociologist, noun

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

Scientific definitions for sociology


[ sō′sē-ŏlə-jē ]

  1. The scientific study of human social behavior and its origins, development, organizations, and institutions.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for sociology


The systematic study of human society, especially present-day societies. Sociologists study the organization, institutions, and development of societies, with a particular interest in identifying causes of the changing relationships among individuals and groups. (See social science.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.