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so·ci·e·ty (sə-sīĭ-tē)
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n. pl. so·ci·e·ties
1.
a. The totality of people regarded as forming a community of interdependent individuals: working for the benefit of society.
b. A group of people broadly distinguished from other groups by mutual interests, participation in characteristic relationships, shared institutions, and a common culture: rural society; literary society.
2. An organization or association of persons engaged in a common profession, activity, or interest: a folklore society; a society of bird watchers.
3. The wealthy, socially dominant members of a community. Also called high society.
4. Companionship; company: enjoys the society of friends and family members.
5. Biology A colony or community of organisms, usually of the same species: an insect society.

[French société, from Old French, from Latin societās, fellowship, from socius, companion; see sekw-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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