society so‧ci‧e‧ty [səˈsaɪti] noun societies PLURALFORM
1. [uncountable] people in general, considered in relation to the structure of laws, organizations etc that make it possible for them to live together:

• Society may decide that it dislikes monopoly profits, purely on the grounds of equity.

2. [countable, uncountable] a particular large group of people who share laws, organizations, customs etc:

• We have grown up in a materialistic, capitalist society.

conˈsumer soˌciety [countable usually singular] ECONOMICS
a society in which buying goods and services is considered to be one of the most important parts of people's lives:

• We live in a consumer society where advertising makes us think we need new things all the time.

ˈstakeholder soˌciety [countable usually singular] ECONOMICS
a society in which companies and their employees share economic successes
3. [countable] ORGANIZATIONS a professional organization or club with members who share similar aims and interests:

• the American Society for Training and Development

co-ˈoperative soˌciety also cooperative society
[countable] FINANCE ORGANIZATIONS in Britain, an organization run by a group of people whose aim is to give benefits to its members, rather than to make a profit; = CO-OPERATIVE
ˈcredit soˌciety [countable] FINANCE ORGANIZATIONS
a cooperative society that lends money, collected from its members, at low rates of interest; = CREDIT CO-OPERATIVE; CREDIT UNION
ˈfriendly soˌciety [countable] FINANCE ORGANIZATIONS
an organization whose members pay money into a fund that is used to help them if they become sick or lose their job, or when they become old. registered friendly societies are able to borrow money at reduced interest rates or receive a higher rate on money they invest:

• The Loyal Standard Association operated as a friendly society for sick, injured and elderly seamen.

ˈprovident soˌciety [countable] FINANCE ORGANIZATIONS
used in the names of some types of mutual (= financial institutions in which people do not own shares) where people can save money, obtain insurance etc:

• the Australian Mutual Provident Society, the country's largest insurance concern

— see also building society, classification society

* * *

society UK US /səˈsaɪəti/ noun (plural societies)
[U] people in general living together in an organized way, making decisions about how to do things, and sharing the work that needs to be done: »

Society cannot expect perfection in products and services, but it can expect that corporations will always act responsibly.


These fraudsters are preying on the poorest and the most vulnerable people in society.

[C or U] the people who live in a particular country or area and their way of life and customs: »

The prime growth engine of capitalist societies is innovation.


We live in a multicultural society.


Will we ever achieve a cashless society?


Homeownership is a linchpin of American society.

[C] BANKING used in the name of some UK banks to show that they are mutuals (= banks that are owned by the people who keep money in them), or that they were mutual in the past: »

The building society responded to numerous inquiries about mortgages from first-time buyers.


These bonds are only offered by friendly societies.


The society says it has been passing on extra benefits to its members for some time.

[C] an organization to which people who share similar interests can belong: »

the American Society of Civil Engineers


the Industrial Society

See also BUILDING SOCIETY(Cf. ↑building society), CLASSIFICATION SOCIETY(Cf. ↑classification society), CONSUMER SOCIETY(Cf. ↑consumer society), COOPERATIVE SOCIETY(Cf. ↑cooperative society), CREDIT SOCIETY(Cf. ↑credit society), FRIENDLY SOCIETY(Cf. ↑friendly society), STAKEHOLDER THEORY(Cf. ↑stakeholder theory)

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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