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gesellschaft

[German guh-zel-shahft] /German gəˈzɛlˌʃɑft/
noun, plural gesellschaften
[German guh-zel-shahf-tuh n] /German gəˈzɛlˌʃɑf tən/ (Show IPA).
(often initial capital letter)
1.
an association of individuals for common goals, as for entertainment, intellectual, or cultural purposes or for business reasons.
2.
Sociology. a society or group characterized chiefly by formal organization, impersonal relations, the absence of generally held or binding norms, and a detachment from traditional and sentimental concerns, and often tending to be rationalistic and secular in outlook.
Compare Gemeinschaft
Origin
1935-1940
1935-40; < German, equivalent to Geselle companion + -schaft -ship
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for gesellschaft

gesellschaft

/German ɡəˈzɛlʃaft/
noun (pl) -schaften (German) (-ʃaftən)
1.
(often capital) a social group held together by practical concerns, formal and impersonal relationships, etc Compare gemeinschaft
Word Origin
German, literally: society
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for gesellschaft
n.

1887, "social relationship based on duty to society or an organization," from German Gesellschaft, from geselle "companion" + -schaft "-ship."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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