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1 [attributive] of or relating to society or its organization:alcoholism is recognized as a major social problem a traditional Japanese social structure of or relating to rank and status in society:a recent analysis of social class in Britain her mother is a lady of the highest social standing needing companionship and therefore best suited to living in communities:we are social beings as well as individuals relating to or designed for activities in which people meet each other for pleasure:Guy led a full social life 2 Zoology (of a bird) gregarious; breeding or nesting in colonies. (of an insect) living together in organized communities, typically with different castes, as ants, bees, wasps, and termites do. (of a mammal) living together in groups, typically in a hierarchical system with complex communication.
an informal social gathering, especially one organized by the members of a particular club or group:a church social