[German guh-zel-shahft]
noun, plural gesellschaften [German guh-zel-shahf-tuhn] . (often initial capital letter)
an association of individuals for common goals, as for entertainment, intellectual, or cultural purposes or for business reasons.
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.

1935–40; < German, equivalent to Geselle companion + -schaft -ship Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gesellschaft (German ɡəˈzɛlʃaft)
n , pl -schaften
(often capital) Compare gemeinschaft a social group held together by practical concerns, formal and impersonal relationships, etc
[German, literally: society]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1887, "social relationship based on duty to society or an organization," from Ger., from geselle "companion" + -schaft "-ship."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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