Share this entry

association Syllabification: as·so·ci·a·tion
Pronunciation: /əˌsōsēˈāSH(ə)n/

Definition of association in English:


1 (abbreviation: assn.) (Often in names) a group of people organized for a joint purpose: the National Association of Broadcasters
More example sentences
  • Article 130 provides that ministers cannot form associations for political purposes or rally in favor of or against any candidate, political party or association.
  • Few in democratic societies dispute the right of citizens to come together in peaceful associations to pursue common purposes.
  • The visit concluded with a joint committee of both associations on Sunday morning.
alliance, consortium, coalition, union, league, guild, syndicate, federation, confederation, confederacy, conglomerate, cooperative, partnership, affiliation, organization;
club, society, congress
1.1 Ecology A plant community defined by a characteristic group of dominant plant species.
Example sentences
  • Each of these habitat types has its own association of species.
  • The Park Service planted roadside plant associations along a gradient so taller growth remained closer to the forest.
  • Although a number of species are found in all five associations, a given species is dominant in only one or two.
2A connection or cooperative link between people or organizations: he developed a close association with the university the program was promoted in association with the Department of Music
More example sentences
  • Planning has started, with steering committees being set up in each state in association with other professional and industry associations.
  • The council is organising similar events in association with residents' associations, at estates around the town.
  • In association with Avinashilingam University, it conducted a seminar on ‘Legal awareness and prime steps’ for the college students recently.
2.1The action or state of becoming a member of an organization with subordinate status: [as modifier]: Slovenia signed association agreements with the European Union
More example sentences
  • But last month it was revealed that more than 40 association members had signed a petition calling for her deselection.
  • It is asking fellow supporters to join association members for the lobby, which will take place in Westminster Hall between noon and 3pm.
  • The film is due to be previewed to those involved in its production, and association members, before being shown to townspeople and released to travel operators and film and television companies.
2.2 Chemistry The linking of molecules through hydrogen bonding or other interaction short of full bond formation.
Example sentences
  • In interactions with proteins and lipids, sucrose replaces water associations in the molecules and maintains structural integrity.
  • The cross-linking studies reveal an absence of higher soluble molecular weight peptide-peptide associations for the S22W peptide.
  • The close association allows these molecules to interact through opposing charged groups.
3 (usually associations) A mental connection between ideas or things: the word bureaucracy has unpleasant associations
More example sentences
  • Well, this scent is not a smell that is detected with the nose; it is an information scent, based on our mental associations between concepts.
  • It's a good idea to make mental associations between their appearance and their name.
  • The music will also explore the associations between the church and the neighbouring Abbey, which was founded by Richard, Earl of Cornwall in the 13 th century.
3.1The action of making a mental connection: the association of alchemy with “hieroglyphics” and “cabala.”
3.2The fact of occurring with something else; co-occurrence: cases of cancer found in association with colitis
More example sentences
  • Within the chronic pain group there was no association between the presence of neuroglobin and clinical factors such as age, extent or duration of pain, or tenderness to pressure.
  • There was no association between the presence of a BCG scar and the prevalence of a positive TST reaction for either cutoff point.
  • In the present study, no association was found between the use of extracellular preservation fluid and early gas exchange.


Mid 16th century (in the sense 'uniting in a common purpose'): from medieval Latin associatio(n-), from Latin associare 'to unite, ally' (see associate).



Example sentences
  • The rescuers are also free men and women, exhibiting all the associational skills that have made civil society so vibrant in Western history.
  • Nor does public protection and support for associational and affective ties need to be limited to marriage partners and parents and children.
  • The order is melodic, intuitive and associational rather than logical.

Definition of association in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day doofus
Pronunciation: ˈdo͞ofəs
a stupid person