Skip to main content

Social vs Gregarious vs Cooperative vs Convivial vs Companionable vs Hospitable

Socialgregariouscooperativeconvivialcompanionablehospitable are comparable rather than synonymous terms that all involve and often stress the idea of having or manifesting a liking for or attraction to the company of others.

Social, a broadly inclusive word, is distinctly dichotomous. On the one hand it stresses sociability and the pleasant relation between individuals, singly or in groups and may come close to sociable (which see under GRACIOUS ) in meaning.

On the other hand it can stress relation to society and the community and approach societal in meaning; when applied with this notion to the individual or kind of individual it implies membership in or adherence to a more or less definitely organized society; thus, the common reference to man as a social animal implies that human beings as a result of qualities inherent in their fundamental animal nature tend to live in societies rather than in solitude.

In relation to immaterial things social may imply no more than relation to society, but more often it stresses the consideration and responsibility of society for its members and especially its weaker members.

As applied to lower animals, social heightens the notion of societal and implies not mere physical association but association in a community with specialization of function and often of form.

Gregarious sometimes approaches the first aspect of social , but in its commoner societal applications it tends, in distinction to social, to imply a need or desire for contiguity or a living contiguously rather than an active participation in the life of an integrated society. The remaining terms describe particular aspects of being social.

Cooperative implies the existence of common ends which serve as the objectives of a group, a community, or society at large and of the need of mutual assistance in the attainment of those ends; the term therefore usually suggests shared effort, helpfulness, and a willingness to work for the welfare or well-being of the entire group.

Convivial is applied chiefly to persons, groups, or activities that manifest enjoyment of the company of others especially in festive joviality and eating and drinking.

Companionable implies a special fitness by nature or disposition for friendly and intimate association with others and it is often applied to things (as situations or writings) that are felt to convey such a quality.

Hospitable usually implies a disposition to receive and to entertain not only one’s friends but especially strangers; it therefore stresses receptiveness and generosity more than any of the preceding terms.