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[suh-sahy-i-tl] /səˈsaɪ ɪ tl/
noting or pertaining to large social groups, or to their activities, customs, etc.
Origin of societal
1895-1900; societ(y) + -al1
Related forms
societally, adverb
antisocietal, adjective
antisocietally, adverb
intersocietal, adjective
nonsocietal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for societal
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This 213gave their own idea back again to the masses with the approval of the societal authority.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • The body of the folkways constitutes a societal environment.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • The target set encompasses both military and societal values.

    Shock and Awe Harlan K. Ullman
  • They did not verify when the attempt was made to use them for societal needs.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • They are reactions produced in the individual by the societal environment.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
British Dictionary definitions for societal


of or relating to society, esp human society or social relations
Derived Forms
societally, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for societal

1873, from society (adj.) + -al (1). Related: Societally. Earlier adjective was societarian (1822) "of or pertaining to society."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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