[ suh-sahy-i-tee ]
/ səˈsaɪ ɪ ti /

noun, plural so·ci·e·ties.


of, relating to, or characteristic of elegant society: a society photographer.

Nearby words

  1. socially excluded,
  2. socially included,
  3. societal,
  4. societal development,
  5. societal marketing,
  6. society islands,
  7. society of friends,
  8. society of jesus,
  9. society verse,
  10. socinian

Origin of society

1525–35; < Middle French societe < Latin societās, equivalent to soci(us) partner, comrade + -etās, variant of -itās- -ity

Related forms

Synonym study

1. See circle. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for sub-society


/ (səˈsaɪətɪ) /

noun plural -ties

Word Origin for society

C16: via Old French societé from Latin societās, 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 sub-society



1530s, "companionship, friendly association with others," from Old French societe "company" (12c., Modern French société), from Latin societatem (nominative societas) "fellowship, association, alliance, union, community," from socius "companion" (see social (adj.)).

Meaning "group, club" is from 1540s, originally of associations of persons for some specific purpose. Meaning "people bound by neighborhood and intercourse aware of living together in an ordered community" is from 1630s. Sense of "the more cultivated part of any community" first recorded 1823, hence "fashionable people and their doings." The Society Islands were named 1769 by Cook on his third Pacific voyage in honor of the Royal Society, which financed his travels across the world to observe the transit of Venus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with sub-society


see under mutual admiration society.

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