Social Distancing

What is social distancing?

Isolating from other people

Social distancing is the act of isolating or extending your distance from other people. It can be used to refer to physically moving farther away from people or severing your relationships with people.

Physical social distancing is when you extend the actual space between you and other people. This is often done to slow or prevent the spread of an infectious disease like influenza, Ebola, or the coronavirus (COVID-19). Social distancing includes staying further away from people when out in public, limiting the number of people you occupy a room with if you must go out, and isolating/quarantining yourself away from people in your house.

If the contagious disease becomes severe, the government may close places that people often congregate, such as schools, workplaces, restaurants, malls, and stores to curb the spread. The phrase became prominent due to its use by health officials to help the public combat COVID-19 in 2019-2020.

However, the phrase may also be applied to when you do not want to be seen with a person because it will negatively affect your social standing, like if you are a jock and are embarrassed to be seen with your geek friend in high school. Or "social distancing" may refer to when you decrease your social interactions with others if you are introverted, depressed, or just don't want to hang out because of JOMO.


"I am social distancing from my family because of COVID-19."
"Aaaaaand because you got in a fight with your sister."
One of the benefits of social distancing is it's easier to find Waldo

One of the benefits of social distancing is it's easier to find Waldo

Related Slang


Last Updated: March 23, 2020

Social distancing definition

This page explains what the slang term "Social distancing" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slangit team.

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