Etymology
Advertisement
social (adj.)

c. 1400, "devoted to or relating to home life;" 1560s as "living with others," from French social (14c.) and directly from Latin socialis "of companionship, of allies; united, living with others; of marriage, conjugal," from socius "companion, ally," probably originally "follower," from PIE *sokw-yo-, suffixed form of root *sekw- (1) "to follow." Compare Old English secg, Old Norse seggr "companion," which seem to have been formed on the same notion). Related: Socially.

Sense of "characterized by friendliness or geniality" is from 1660s. Meaning "living or liking to live with others; companionable, disposed to friendly intercourse" is from 1720s. Meaning "of or pertaining to society as a natural condition of human life" first attested 1695, in Locke. Sense of "pertaining to fashionable society" is from 1873.

Social climber is from 1893; social work is 1890; social worker 1886. Social drinking first attested 1807. Social studies as an inclusive term for history, geography, economics, etc., is attested from 1916. Social security "system of state support for needy citizens" is attested from 1907 (the Social Security Act was passed by U.S. Congress in 1935). Social butterfly is from 1867, in figurative reference to "flitting."

Social contract (1763) is from translations of Rousseau. Social Darwinism attested from 1887. Social engineering attested from 1899. Social science is from 1785. In late 19c. newspapers, social evil is "prostitution." Social network is attested by 1971; social networking by 1984; social media by 2008. Social justice is attested by 1718.

I must introduce a parenthetical protest against the abuse of the current term 'social justice'. From meaning 'justice in relations between groups or classes' it may slip into meaning a particular assumption as to what these relations should be; and a course of action might be supported because it represented the aim of 'social justice', which from the point of view of 'justice' was not just. The term 'social justice' is in danger of losing its rational content—which would be replaced by a powerful emotional charge. I believe that I have used the term myself: it should never be employed unless the user is prepared to define clearly what social justice means to him, and why he thinks it just. [T.S. Eliot, footnote in "Notes Towards the Definition of Culture," 1948]
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
assistance (n.)

early 15c., "act of helping or aiding; help given, aid," from Old French assistance and Medieval Latin assistentia, from the respective verbs (see assist (v.)).

Related entries & more 
social (n.)

"friendly gathering," 1870, from social (adj.). In late 17c. it meant "a companion, associate."

Related entries & more 
Medicaid 

"system for providing public funds to persons needing assistance with medical expenses," 1966; see medical (adj.) + aid (n.). The U.S. medical assistance program was created by Title XIX of the Social Security Act of 1965. 

Related entries & more 
furtherance (n.)

mid-15c., "assistance, support," also "advantage, benefit; advancement, promotion," from further (v.) + -ance.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
support (n.)

late 14c., "act of assistance, backing, help, aid," from support (v.). Meaning "that which supports, one who provides assistance, protection, backing, etc." is early 15c. Sense of "bearing of expense" is mid-15c. Physical sense of "that which supports" is from 1560s. Meaning "services which enable something to fulfil its function and remain in operation" (as in tech support) is from 1953.

Related entries & more 
subsidy (n.)

late 14c., from Anglo-French subsidie, Old French subside "help, aid, assistance, contribution," from Latin subsidium "a help, aid, assistance, (military) reinforcements, troops in reserve," from subsidere "to settle down, stay, remain" (see subside).

Related entries & more 
self-help (n.)

1831, "working for oneself without assistance from others," from self- + help (n.). Apparently coined by Carlyle. The British Self-Help Emigration Society is attested from 1887.

Related entries & more 
helping (n.)

"aid, assistance," late 13c., verbal noun from help (v.). Meaning "act of serving food" is from 1824; that of "a portion of food" is from 1883.

Related entries & more 
psychosocial (adj.)

also psycho-social, "pertaining to or involving the influence of social factors on a person's mind or behavior," 1891, from psycho- + social (adj.).

Related entries & more