Etymology
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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]
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network (n.)

1550s, "net-like arrangement of threads, wires, etc., anything formed in the manner of or presenting the appearance of a net or netting," from net (n.) + work (n.). Extended sense of "any complex, interlocking system" is from 1839 (originally in reference to transport by rivers, canals, and railways). Meaning "broadcasting system of multiple transmitters" is from 1914; sense of "interconnected group of people" is by 1934 in psychology jargon.

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social (n.)

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

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network (v.)

1887, "to cover with a network," from network (n.). From 1940 as "to broadcast over a (radio) network;" 1972 in reference to computers; by 1982 in reference to persons, "to interact with others to exchange information and develop contacts." Related: Networked; networking.

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meshwork (n.)

also mesh-work, "a network, a web, a plexus," 1830, from mesh (n.) + work (n.). Compare network.

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ARPANET 

acronym from Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, set up in 1969 by a branch of the U.S. Department of Defense in partnership with four universities; acknowledged as "the world's first operational packet switching network" and predecessor of the internet.

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internet (n.)

1984, "the linked computer networks of the U.S. Defense Department," shortened from internetwork, inter-network, which was used from 1972 in reference to (then-hypothetical) networks involving many separate computers. From inter- "between" + network (n.). Associated Press style guide decapitalized it from 2016.

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Teletex (n.)

proprietary name for a computer data-sharing network, 1978.

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reticule (n.)

1801, "a ladies' small hand bag," originally of network, later usually of any woven material, from French réticule (18c.) "a net for the hair, a reticule," from Latin reticulum "a little net, network bag," a double diminutive of rete "net" (see rete). The telescopic attachment is so called from 1730s, from a use in French.

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