social

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the social ladder

The hierarchical structure or makeup of a culture, society, or social environment. Miss Dumfey hopes to improve her standing on the social ladder with a marriage to the baron. It's always hard for high school freshmen to find their place on the social ladder. Mary's had a chip on her shoulder from being raised in a trailer park, so climbing the social ladder has been her only aim since leaving home.
See also: ladder, social

climb the social ladder

To improve one's position within the hierarchical structure or makeup of a culture, society, or social environment. Miss Dumfey hopes to climb the social ladder by marrying the local diplomat. John's had a chip on his shoulder from being raised in a trailer park, so climbing the social ladder has been his only aim since leaving home.
See also: climb, ladder, social

social climber

A person who tries to elevate his or her social status, often through the calculated use of friendships and relationships. Based on his circle of friends, it's obvious that he is nothing more than a social climber.
See also: climber, social

a social climber

someone who tries to join a higher social class, especially by becoming friends with people from that class He was a dedicated social climber and was at all the best parties.
See also: climber, social

social butterfly

A person who flits from event to event without a care in the world. This derogatory phrase is usually but not always applied to women who “live to party.” Going from one dinner party or ball or benefit to another, they are preoccupied with being the height of fashion and popularity. According to one wonderfully descriptive characterization, a social butterfly has a “brow unfurrowed by care or thought."
See also: butterfly, social
References in classic literature ?
In the same way, it is clearly the social duty of the telephone company to widen out its system until every point is covered, and then to distribute its gross charges as fairly as it can.
The "dangerous class," the social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of old society, may, here and there, be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more for the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue.
Certainly let her be as much better placed in the laws and in social forms as the most zealous reformer can ask, but I confide so entirely in her inspiring and musical nature, that I believe only herself can show us how she shall be served.
Those who were going to take part in the social evening came in, the younger members of the staff mostly, boys who had not girls of their own, and girls who had not yet found anyone to walk with.
So that a universal social collapse followed, as it were a logical consequence, upon world-wide war.
So what historians have come to call the Phase of the Emergency Committees sprang from the opening phase and from the phase of social collapse.
While I read him, I was in a world where the right came out best, as I believe it will yet do in this world, and where merit was crowned with the success which I believe will yet attend it in our daily life, untrammelled by social convention or economic circumstance.
This left her more time for a social life which she thoroughly enjoyed.
I disliked the abstruse studies of my new profession; but I absolutely hated the diurnal slavery of qualifying myself, in a social point of view, for future success in it.
I carried that whisky for social purposes, and I so charged it up in my expense account to the newspaper for which I worked.
If you had married Roy Gardner, now," continued Gilbert mercilessly, "YOU could have been `a leader in social and intellectual circles far away from Four Winds.
Though social and personal influence were powerful within its doors, as always in all human organizations, nevertheless the son of a serf for whom there was no other means of escape from his servitude might steal to the nearest monastery and there, gaining his freedom by a few months of concealment, might hope, if he proved his ability, to rise to the highest position, to become abbot, bishop or perhaps even Pope.
I will simply call your attention to the fact that your modern systems of popular election, of two chambers, and of juries all had their origin in provincial and oecumenical councils, and in the episcopate and college of cardinals; but there is this difference,--the views of civilization held by our present-day philosophy seem to me to fade away before the sublime and divine conception of Catholic communion, the type of a universal social communion brought about by the word and the fact that are combined in religious dogma.
Eevery Saturday night the Clover Leaf Social Club gave a hop in the hall of the Give and Take Athletic Association on the East Side.
They had to be protected; and their horses, carriages, houses, servants had to be protected; and the source of their wealth had to be protected in the heart of the city and the heart of the country; the whole social order favourable to their hygienic idleness had to be protected against the shallow enviousness of unhygienic labour.
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