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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a consumer society (=a society of people who want to buy a lot of things)
▪ In the west, we live in a consumer society.
a member of society (=a citizen)
▪ We want our children to become productive members of society.
an affluent society/area etc
▪ the affluent Côte d'Azur
building society
closed society/world/way of life
▪ Venetian art in this period was a closed world.
consumer society
contemporary society
▪ What is the role of television in contemporary society?
fabric of...society
▪ Drug abuse poses a major threat to the fabric of our society.
fraternal association/organization/society
friendly society
high society (=rich people of the highest social class)
human society
▪ In every human society there is a struggle for power.
industrial society
▪ By 1900, Britain was a mainly industrial society.
liberal state/society/democracy etc
menace to society
▪ That man’s a menace to society. He should be locked away.
modern society
▪ In modern society, elderly relatives rarely live with their children.
mutual admiration society
▪ The two men were a mutual admiration society, gushing about how much they were learning from each other.
patriarchal society
▪ a patriarchal society
permissive society
▪ a permissive society
pluralist society
▪ a pluralist society
▪ the post-industrial information-based society
▪ Firstly capitalist society is by its very nature unstable.
▪ They argued that one role of the state in capitalist society is to save capital from itself.
▪ It is precisely this sense of legitimacy which is lacking in capitalist societies today.
▪ In capitalist society the fetishism of commodities sustains the view that the accumulation of surplus value is a property of commodities themselves.
▪ This Engels demonstrated brilliantly in his analysis of the position of women in capitalist society.
▪ In capitalist society, the forces of production include the collective production of goods by large numbers of workers in factories.
▪ Hence, class conflict is viewed as inevitable and indeed as the only major source of conflict in capitalist society.
▪ It is, of course, possible to infer some aspects of bureaucracy in capitalist society from the functions assigned to the state.
▪ It also was the revenge of the bourgeoisie on civil society.
▪ He is a reformer with an outspoken commitment to civil society, social justice, the rule of law and expanded freedom.
▪ In the nineteenth century, however, they had entered civil society on a very important scale.
▪ By this I mean the secular humanism that has allowed the flowering of civil society in the West.
▪ In the shorthand of the modern world, business is seen as dynamic, civil society as conservative.
▪ The world of civil societies has a great stake in the defeat of each.
▪ Managing contradictory interests involves active participation and negotiation with other representatives of civil society.
▪ All efforts to develop a civil society and increase contacts might now be terminated.
▪ Consumption rather than saving has become the central feature of contemporary societies.
▪ The new religious revival is fueled by a revulsion with the corruptions of contemporary society.
▪ But the health and wealth of contemporary society blinds us to the decadence and moral sickness under our noses.
▪ Although the Stuart-Meredith growth charts have survived for 30 years, their usefulness in contemporary society is limited.
▪ Before that, however, we must address the question of whether contemporary Western societies are still capitalist.
▪ Much of contemporary society seems disadvantaged by a management view that extends not much beyond immediate profit preoccupations.
▪ Therefore we need to study in greater depth the role played by television and other visual media in contemporary society.
▪ Indeed, there is little in contemporary society which would surprise them.
▪ If we are interested in creating a democratic society there is clearly a great deal of work yet to be done.
▪ No matter how democratic the society, they will always exist in some form.
▪ These are the hallmarks of any system of decision making under any scheme of government regulation in a democratic society.
▪ In democratic societies, on the other hand, his role as subject does not exhaust what is expected of him.
▪ More thoughtful Conservatives are aware that a movement towards greater inequality can not continue indefinitely in a democratic society.
▪ The promotion of individual interests rather than shared values can be dangerous in a heterogenous democratic society.
▪ Both cities have high literacy rates. Democratic civil society is relatively strong and well-organised.
▪ But the essential rules are necessary to a just and democratic society.
▪ What different forms does it take in different societies?
▪ He thinks he can make us a different kind of society.
▪ Her money is spread over several different building society accounts earning her only 5.7 percent or £1,140 a year.
▪ I came and looked around and felt this campus is no different than the society at large.
▪ One might almost speak of a complex symbiosis of different elements in society.
▪ In the aftermath of the Stonewall Riots a vastly different gay society arose on the foundations of the closeted, semisecret past.
▪ The aim of the ethnographic papers is to understand violent and peaceful behaviour in different societies.
▪ Why does punishment take different forms in different societies and at different stages in history?
▪ To the latter end he was also responsible for establishing a savings bank at Workington, and for various friendly societies.
▪ That system and the friendly societies were needed to keep doctors in business at all in the poorest areas of the industrial cities.
▪ For some time we have been promised legislation to reform the laws on friendly societies.
▪ By the end of the nineteenth century the friendly societies were also in financial trouble.
▪ Their friendly society status means that they have no shareholders in the normal sense of the term.
▪ Personal pensions are offered by insurance companies, banks, building societies, unit trusts and friendly societies.
▪ These illustrations should not be used as a basis for comparing similar policies issues by other life assurance companies or friendly societies.
▪ From the perspective of psychoanalytic theory, religion has a key importance in human societies.
▪ One can go to the thousands of human societies and find ingenious explanations for each incidence of masculinity and femininity.
▪ You can't have a human society without crime.
▪ Therefore in every human society the man has to bring something to the woman.
▪ Eagleton could not put it more simply: Marxism is a scientific theory of human societies and the practice of transforming them.
▪ The images of human nature and society built into the explanatory paradigms which dominate school curricula and texts are inadequate.
▪ But what if they are looked at from the point of view of human society as a whole?
▪ In their view, Spengler diagnosed the main historical trends of human society and accurately predicted the fate of decaying bourgeois society.
▪ The political Greens took it as confirmation that industrial society was indeed not sustainable.
▪ The coal and petroleum are the great reserves of fossil fuels that we have relied on to power our industrial societies.
▪ Congregationalism appealed to the better-off sections of industrial society.
▪ Yet how could such political egoism be sustained in the face of industrial society, whose appalling realities so soon appeared?
▪ However, modern industrial societies are different in all these respects.
▪ He also made a special study of the outcasts, the waifs and strays of industrial society the vagrants and the idiots.
▪ They produced very different theories about the origins, character and future path of industrial society.
▪ In industrial society free action flourishes and diversity of opinion is tolerated.
▪ His death has triggered questions over whether a larger section of society than initially thought may be vulnerable to the disease.
▪ Analysts have said they expect three of the four largest building societies to convert to banks in the coming few years.
▪ Of the larger building societies, Chelsea is offering 10.25 percent net and Britannia 8.5 percent.
▪ Woolwich, the third largest building society with 28 billion pounds in assets, intends to convert by late 1997.
▪ Honey-bees lives in hives in large societies of about 15,000 bees.
▪ The relationships and responsibilities that characterized life in the larger society could be put aside here, for better or for worse.
▪ The biggest winners could be members of Nationwide, the largest building society.
▪ She had urged her husband out into the large society in and about Liverpool but the forays had not been happy.
▪ At least five local law societies found it difficult to reach a consensus amongst their members on the matter.
▪ Contact the state and local medical societies.
▪ A number of local societies publish booklets which may be classified as mini-dictionaries.
▪ Ask the local medical society and the local psychological organization.
▪ Its premise, that a robust global economy is a prerequisite for healthy local societies, needs to be rethought.
▪ It is indicative of the particular local society in Sheffield that this gesture had to be made.
▪ From about 1913 onwards he became a reclusive eccentric, shunning both London and local society.
▪ This trend has only been strengthened with the enfranchisement of spending power in modern industrial societies.
▪ Although of limited relevance to modern societies, it serves to introduce some of the crucial questions.
▪ The source for the basic difference in taste is traced by Bourdieu to the different experiences of these classes in modern society.
▪ Within modern capitalist societies the monopoly corporations constitute the dominant class fraction.
▪ Therefore, important contrasts should be possible within modern society.
▪ These criticisms of stratification theory derive from the known importance of gender as a criterion of social differentiation in modern society.
▪ Functionalists have provided one of the more optimistic accounts of the nature of gender relations in modern society.
▪ Yet old age within modern society appears to be closely associated with an increased experience of isolation.
▪ Lévi-Strauss misses all this by reading power into structures even in traditional society.
▪ In traditional societies girl children are regarded as investments on which there is no return.
▪ The traditional or segmental society is contrasted with the modern society.
▪ There are many exceptions, though: In some but not most traditional human societies, men move to women.
▪ Freshers' fair is the traditional showground where societies fall over themselves to attract some of the 5000 new students.
▪ Families in traditional societies have such a contract.
▪ This is reflected in the religion, which in turn serves as the model for traditional Hindu society.
▪ Of possible contrasts, the most obvious would be the historical one between the socially shared beliefs of traditional and modern societies.
▪ For example, it has often been suggested that distinctive working-class and middle-class subcultures exist in Western industrial societies.
▪ Attention to internal continuities, traditions, and structures, and to clashes between non-Western and Western societies and ideas.
▪ Racism has permeated Western society, and Western psychiatry is no exception.
▪ The above examples of culturally defined behaviour have been selected because they differ considerably from behaviour patterns in Western society.
▪ He saw legal authority as characteristic of modern Western societies.
▪ I believe the enormous pressure put on women to be skinny is the most important feminist issue in Western society.
▪ Being a scientist in a western society, the researcher is unlikely to think that music or magic have much influence.
▪ In Western society the value placed on human life is expressed in terms of the following norms.
▪ Nor do banks and building societies provide satisfaction.
▪ During the 1980s building societies found themselves under increasing competitive pressure.
▪ But the result confirmed that building society provisions will rocket this year to cover bad and doubtful home loans.
▪ However, the reluctance of the financial services divisions of banks and building societies to join the new body is causing concern.
▪ The Tories are proud of the way they let the building societies wrestle the banks for customers, and viceversa.
▪ Savings include cash, money in bank and building society accounts, national savings certificates and accounts, premium bonds and shares.
▪ It is also worth looking at the smaller, regional building societies.
▪ In the past the best Tessa returns over five years have been from smaller building societies.
▪ About half of the 290 million pounds of assets in building societies now will be controlled by banks in two years.
▪ Dawson emphasized the importance of combining agricultural and urban for building a strong society.
▪ Woolwich, the third largest building society with 28 billion pounds in assets, intends to convert by late 1997.
▪ Cheshire, Skipton and Derbyshire building societies are among those that run offshore accounts and tend to pay attractive rates of interest.
▪ Analysts have said they expect three of the four largest building societies to convert to banks in the coming few years.
▪ Banks and building societies ask that children produce their birth certificate and proof of their parental address.
▪ Fund managers aim to mix a cocktail of bonds that offer a return higher than the interest on a building society deposit.
▪ We aim to create a society in which all men and women can realise their full potential and shape their own successes.
▪ The Arapesh created a society in which the greatest value is children but in which the children die for lack of food.
▪ Because of these evils, we have failed to create a just society here.
▪ He became increasingly more repressive, despite his pronouncements about creating a new society, free of corruption and graft.
▪ Inequality in kibbutzim Despite these arrangements designed to create an egalitarian society, social inequality exists in the kibbutzim.
▪ W., to creating the new society within the shell of the old.
▪ Ants can create a structured society without being possessed, individually, of very much by way of brain.
▪ Marginalized people are simply creating their own society, says the retired diplomat.
▪ We live in a society that is, to all intents, totalitarian.
▪ But who would want to live in such a society?
▪ I would suggest a counter-proposition: that we are living in a society that is sick and tired of information.
▪ Until the 1970s primatologists were busy confirming our prejudices about peaceable apes living in nonviolent societies.
▪ Could I really stand to live in a society where men had all the privileges and women none?
▪ Yet we live in a society in which there are very great pressures on us to keep those subjects in watertight compartments.
▪ But I live in a transition society.
in polite society/circles/company
▪ You can't use words like that in polite company.
▪ Her passion for natural history became increasingly fashionable in polite society during the 17605.
▪ In the good old days of rampant dualism, the mind was rarely mentioned in polite society.
▪ It was not the sort of thing you did in polite company.
▪ It was obvious from the scenes that such behavior did not belong in polite society.
▪ Trevor Proby is another, of course, but his notables should not be discussed in polite company.
▪ With sad paradox, Mr Punch himself became the man in the Bateman cartoon, unwelcome in polite company.
move in ... circles/society/world
▪ ACCORDING to acquaintances who move in the twilight world of Private Eye, the satirical magazine is hoping for a Conservative victory.
▪ As if they would move in the same circles.
▪ He moved in exalted circles - and was ambitious for greater things.
▪ I thought I could move in the world of all possible lights, and breathe, breathe, breathe.
▪ In the 1980s there has been a general move in museum education circles towards active learning experiences on site.
▪ It was a pleasing thought, that I might soon be moving in more exalted circles.
▪ Tanya insists on moving in many circles and, above all, on thinking for herself.
▪ We move in the same circles.
pillar of society/the community/the church etc
sb has paid their debt to society
▪ After 20 years in jail, Murray feels he has paid his debt to society.
the dregs of society/humanity
the population/public/society/world etc at large
▪ Equally important is how a baby communicates back to caregivers and the world at large.
▪ How then did this concept originate, and why has it received such currency among specialists and the public at large?
▪ However, in spite of that, the availability both here and in Britain should be known to the public at large.
▪ I came and looked around and felt this campus is no different than the society at large.
▪ In some societies the boy-preferring habit seems to have spread from elites to the society at large.
▪ The rise of the Internet has taken that idea from offices to the world at large.
▪ They chattered on among themselves, oblivious to the world at large, lovingly cared for in this cozy place.
throwaway society
▪ But this is a throwaway society.
▪ Children are the most vulnerable members of society.
▪ He joined the university film society as a way of making friends.
▪ Islamic society
▪ Prisons are meant to protect society from criminals.
▪ recent changes in American society
▪ The judge described Smith as 'a danger to society'.
▪ the National Society of Public Accountants
▪ the president of the American Historical Society
▪ the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
▪ We live in a society that values hard work.
▪ We want our students to become useful and responsible members of society.
▪ We will soon be unable to enjoy the society of our dearest friends.
▪ Give him an unknown society, any society, and he wanted in.
▪ Having already displayed a contempt for civilized society, he or she can not be considered a part of it.
▪ His death has triggered questions over whether a larger section of society than initially thought may be vulnerable to the disease.
▪ In Protestant society such conflicts certainly exist, but they take place in private.
▪ Nevertheless we are committed to a meritocratic society.
▪ They will continue to promote the integration of migrant workers in the societies in which they are lawfully residing.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Society \So*ci"e*ty\, n.; pl. Societies. [L. societas, fr. socius a companion: cf. F. soci['e]t['e]. See Social.]

  1. The relationship of men to one another when associated in any way; companionship; fellowship; company. ``Her loved society.''

    There is society where none intrudes By the deep sea, and music in its roar.

  2. Connection; participation; partnership. [R.]

    The meanest of the people and such as have the least society with the acts and crimes of kings.
    --Jer. Taylor.

  3. A number of persons associated for any temporary or permanent object; an association for mutual or joint usefulness, pleasure, or profit; a social union; a partnership; as, a missionary society.

  4. The persons, collectively considered, who live in any region or at any period; any community of individuals who are united together by a common bond of nearness or intercourse; those who recognize each other as associates, friends, and acquaintances.

  5. Specifically, the more cultivated portion of any community in its social relations and influences; those who mutually give receive formal entertainments.

    Society of Jesus. See Jesuit.

    Society verses [a translation of F. vers de soci['e]t['e]], the lightest kind of lyrical poetry; verses for the amusement of polite society.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

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.)).\n

\nMeaning "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.


n. (lb en countable) A long-standing group of people sharing cultural aspects such as language, dress, norms of behavior and artistic forms.

  1. n. an extended social group having a distinctive cultural and economic organization

  2. a formal association of people with similar interests; "he joined a golf club"; "they formed a small lunch society"; "men from the fraternal order will staff the soup kitchen today" [syn: club, guild, gild, lodge, order]

  3. the state of being with someone; "he missed their company"; "he enjoyed the society of his friends" [syn: company, companionship, fellowship]

  4. the fashionable elite [syn: high society, beau monde, smart set, bon ton]


A society is a group of people involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Societies are characterized by patterns of relationships ( social relations) between individuals who share a distinctive culture and institutions; a given society may be described as the sum total of such relationships among its constituent members. In the social sciences, a larger society often evinces stratification or dominance patterns in subgroups.

Insofar as it is collaborative, a society can enable its members to benefit in ways that would not otherwise be possible on an individual basis; both individual and social (common) benefits can thus be distinguished, or in many cases found to overlap. A society can also consist of like-minded people governed by their own norms and values within a dominant, larger society. This is sometimes referred to as a subculture, a term used extensively within criminology.

More broadly, and especially within structuralist thought, a society may be illustrated as an economic, social, industrial or cultural infrastructure, made up of, yet distinct from, a varied collection of individuals. In this regard society can mean the objective relationships people have with the material world and with other people, rather than "other people" beyond the individual and their familiar social environment.

Society (video game)

Society is a massively multiplayer online real-time strategy game in development by Stardock. It is to be initially released on their online distribution service, Impulse for free. First announced in 2005, development progress was slow in the coming years, and by February 2009, the game's development was placed on-hold in favor of wrapping up another of the company's games, Elemental: War of Magic. Upon its release in August 2010, development was restarted in January 2011, though the company has been quiet on the game's status since.

Society (film)

Society is a 1989 American horror film directed by Brian Yuzna. Though the film was completed in 1989, it was not released in the United States until 1992. It was Yuzna's directorial debut and was written by Rick Fry and Woody Keith. The film stars Billy Warlock as Bill Whitney, Devin DeVasquez as Clarissa Carlyn, Evan Richards as Milo and Ben Meyerson as Ferguson. Screaming Mad George was responsible for the special effects.

A sequel, Society 2: Body Modification, was in development, with a script written by Stephan Biro.

Society (journal)

Society is a scientific journal that publishes discussions and research findings in the social sciences and public policy.

It was founded as Transaction: Social Science and Modern SOCIETY by Irving Louis Horowitz in 1962. It was published by Transaction Publishers for decades before being purchased by Springer. Its chief editor is Jonathan Imber.

Society (disambiguation)

Society is a grouping of individuals which are united by a network of social relations, traditions and may have distinctive culture and institutions.

Society may also refer to:

  • used exclusively, within the upper class, see high society (group)
  • a voluntary association (club, company)
    • Student society, a student club
    • Learned society
    • Society of apostolic life, a group within the Catholic Church
as a proper name
  • Society Islands, a group of islands in French Polynesia, thus dubbed in 1769
  • Society Recordings, a mid-20th century American record label
  • Society (journal), an academic journal, founded in 1962
  • Society (film), a 1989 Brian Yuzna film
  • "Society" (song), a 1996 song by Pennywise
  • "Society", a 2007 song by Jerry Hannan, best known for the cover by Eddie Vedder on the Into the Wild soundtrack
  • Society, a fictional video game in the 2009 film Gamer
  • Society (video game), an online computer game by Stardock, released in 2010
Society (play)

Society was an 1865 comedy drama by Thomas William Robertson regarded as a milestone in Victorian drama because of its realism in sets, costume, acting and dialogue. Unusually for that time, Robertson both wrote and directed the play, and his innovative writing and stage direction inspired George Bernard Shaw and W. S. Gilbert.

Usage examples of "society".

The chest claimed to be that of Elder Brewster, owned by the Connecticut Historical Society, was not improb ably his, but that it had any MAY-FLOWER relation is not shown.

A period of wandering as a nomad, often as undertaken by Aborigines who feel the need to leave the place where they are in contact with white society, and return for spiritul replenishment to their traditional way of life.

Although the masses will flock to the Plan of Abraxas, those wielding power and money will not easily give up their privileges for the good of society.

Beside myself with rage, blushing for very shame, seeing but too late the fault I had committed by accepting the society of a scoundrel, I went up to my room, and hurriedly packed up my carpet-bag.

Back in Town again, his first forays into Society had gone smoothly, though there had been a dangerous few minutes the first time he had been formally introduced to Acer Loring.

Will you suffer me therefore to beg, unless any consideration restrains you, that you would be pleased to acquaint me what motives have induced you thus to withdraw from the society of mankind, and to betake yourself to a course of life to which it sufficiently appears you were not born?

I certainly did not act towards them with a true sense of honesty, but if the reader to whom I confess myself is acquainted with the world and with the spirit of society, I entreat him to think before judging me, and perhaps I may meet with some indulgence at his hands.

A young lady of enterprise, she found herself acquiring political convictions, beginning to detest anarchists, the Fabian Society, even the Earl of Rosebery.

The direct actionists by their inflammatory speeches and writings are especially successful in gaining recruits from among the more disorderly elements of society, whereas the political actionists appeal rather to those persons who are opposed to the destruction of life and property.

At one time over 90 percent of the adult male population of western society was addicted to it.

I recognized that voice: It was Aden Fiske, who was the head of the Stone Harbor Historical Society and manager of the Chandler House site.

American Tonsil, Adenoid and Vas Deferens Society, at the Old Royal Maison New Orleans.

A large sign in the lobby of the hotel directed him to the fifth-floor headquarters of the Tonsil, Adenoid and Vas Deferens Society.

It is my, great honor, indeed my personal privilege, to introduce to you, my colleagues, Michaelangelo Fetterizzini, Fellow of the American Tonsil, Adenoid and Vas Deferens Society.

NEW ORLEANSThe American Tonsil, Adenoid and Vas Deferens Society is holding their fifth annual convention this week in the Old Royal Maison New Orleans.