Definition of society noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//səˈsaɪəti//
    ; NAmE NAmE//səˈsaɪəti//
    (pl. societies) University life
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  1. 1  [uncountable] people in general, living together in communities policies that will benefit society as a whole Racism exists at all levels of society. They carried out research into the roles of men and women in today’s society Wordfinderbias, discriminate, equal, feminism, homophobia, human right, marginalize, persecute, race, society Wordfindercivil rights, class, conform, convention, culture, custom, elite, equality, outsider, society
  2. 2  [countable, uncountable] a particular community of people who share the same customs, laws, etc. modern industrial societies demand created by a consumer society Can Britain ever be a classless society? They were discussing the problems of Western society.
  3. 3  [countable] (abbreviation Soc.) (especially in names) a group of people who join together for a particular purpose a member of the drama society the American Society of Newspaper Editors WordfinderAGM, the chair, club, hobby, member, newsletter, secretary, society, subscription, treasurer see also building society, friendly society Cultureclubs and societiesMany people in Britain and the US belong to at least one club or society. Club is often used to refer to a group of people who regularly meet together socially or take part in sports. Most young people's groups are called clubs. A society is usually concerned with a special interest, e.g. birdwatching or local history, and sends newsletters or magazines to its members. National societies sometimes have local branches.Social clubs have a bar where members can sit and talk to each other. Members of the upper class or business people may belong to a gentlemen's club. Most of these are in London and even today only some of them allow women to be members. They are places to relax in, but also places to make business contacts in and to take clients to. Freemasonry attracts business and professional men who may join a lodge (= branch) in their home town. Masons are sometimes accused of giving unfair advantages to other Masons in business, etc.Some clubs combine social events with community service. Members of the Rotary Club, the Round Table, the Kiwanis and the Lions Club are usually professional or business people. In the US these organizations are called service clubs. Some are open only to men. They hold events to raise money for good causes, e.g. to provide scholarships for university students or to raise money for a hospital.In Britain, working men's clubs were set up for men doing manual jobs. The clubs offer a range of entertainment, such as comedians or darts matches, as well as a bar. In recent years some clubs have decided to admit women. In the US there are clubs based on ethnic origin, religion or military background. For example, the Knights of Columbus is a club for Roman Catholic men. People who have served in the armed forces join the Veterans of Foreign Wars or the American Legion. The British Legion is a similar organization for former British servicemen.In Britain, the Women's Institute and the Townswomen's Guild began with the aim of improving women's education. Both now organize social and cultural activities.Nightclubs, often called simply clubs, are places where mainly young people meet to drink and dance. They charge admission fees rather than a subscription. Fees are higher at weekends and in large cities, especially London.Many sports clubs hold parties and arrange social events, as well as providing facilities for various sports. Golf clubs are sometimes expensive to join, and for some clubs there may be a long waiting list. Other sports clubs include those for squash, tennis, cricket, bowls, snooker and cycling. Many clubs own their own sports ground and clubhouse with a bar. Most towns also have gyms or fitness clubs. In Britain, sports and social clubs are run by some big companies for their employees and in the US most sports clubs are associated with companies. Softball and basketball teams play against teams from other companies in the same city.Country clubs are found in green areas near cities all over the US. They offer sports like swimming, golf and tennis, and hold dances and other social events in the restaurants and bars. The oldest and most famous country club was established in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1882.Many Americans belong to the alumni club of the college or university they attended. Members take part in social activities and raise money for the university.Some students join Greek societies, societies named with Greek letters, e.g. Alpha Epsilon Pi. Fraternities are for men, and sororities are for women. Most Greek societies are social organizations and their members, who usually come from rich families, live in a fraternity or sorority house. After they leave university, many members continue to be active in the organization. There are also honor societies for outstanding students, which also have Greek letters in their names. Phi Beta Kappa is the most famous of these. Some are for students in a particular subject, for example Psi Chi is for students in psychology. In Britain, schools, colleges and universities have societies for former students, often called old boys' or old girls'associations.In most towns there are local societies for many interests, including singing, drama, film, folk music, archaeology , natural and local history and photography. Local branches of national societies, such as the National Trust in Britain and the Audubon Society in the US, organize events in their area. Only a small proportion of members attend local events, and most people join these societies because they support their aims.Clubs are an important feature of school life, especially in the US. They include clubs for science, drama and music, as well as language clubs. Outside school, children can join a local youth club, Scouts or Girl Guides, or another youth organization. See related entries: University life
  4. 4[uncountable] the group of people in a country who are fashionable, rich and powerful Their daughter married into high society. a society wedding
  5. 5[uncountable] (formal) the state of being with other people synonym company He was a solitary man who avoided the society of others.
  6. Word Originmid 16th cent. (in the sense ‘companionship, friendly association with others’): from French société, from Latin societas, from socius ‘companion’.Extra examples A person’s job is one of the factors that determines their place in society. Child cruelty exists at all levels of society. Every section of society must have access to education. He considered himself to be a pillar of society. He felt isolated from the rest of society. He is a member of numerous professional societies. He wanted to create a new society. Health standards have risen in society at large. Officers were drawn largely from the top echelons of society. One of the pillars of society must be that everyone has access to the legal system. Our disposable society must be encouraged to recycle. Prisoners often have problems fitting into society on their release. She belongs to the historical society. She devoted herself to helping the outcasts of society. She was active in the Society for Women’s Suffrage. She was marrying into Rio’s high society. Such language would not be used in polite society. The civil war tore apart the fabric of society. The clinic deals with a wide cross-section of society. The research examines minorities and their relation to society as a whole. US society is becoming more unequal. We help offenders to become productive members of society. We live in a society dominated by men. Years of high unemployment have left society deeply divided. a local historical society a member of an amateur dramatic society a place for people excluded from mainstream society a society based on social justice a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals a theory on the basis of human society governments in the advanced industrial societies the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders the benefits for society in general the celebration of a culturally diverse society the class structure of British society the consumerist values of the affluent society the division of labour in an advanced capitalist society the global information society the greed that pervades modern society the path to becoming a secular society the position of women within the family and the wider society the relationship between the state and civil society the role of television in modern Western society the role of women in an advanced industrial society the struggle to build a just society welfare reforms to protect the most vulnerable members of society He made few friends and joined few clubs or societies. He was a popular photographer for society weddings. In many modern industrialized societies, families have become smaller. Local law societies were unreceptive to the idea. She joined the Cranbrook Players, the local amateur dramatic society. She moved in high society and had many literary friends. She was a poor Irish girl who married into New York society. Singapore has a delicately balanced multicultural society. The campaign was launched by the National Deaf Children’s Society. The revelations have outraged polite society. These rights are necessary in a democratic society. They carried out research into the roles of men and women in today’s society. the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: society