Pronunciation: ( Ger. gu-zel'shäft"), [key]
—pl. -schaf•tenPronunciation: ( Ger. -shäf"tun). [key] (often cap.)
1. an association of individuals for common goals, as for entertainment, intellectual, or cultural purposes or for business reasons.
2. Sociol.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. Cf. Gemeinschaft.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.