Association has to do with things that are together, whether in a formal group like the National Basketball Association or just two things that are related, like the association between dogs and parks.

Any time people or things are connected, there are associations. The National Basketball Association is an example of the business meaning of association — a formal organization or group that works together. If you ask, "What is your association with Bill?" That just means, "How are you connected to Bill?" You can also make mental associations — you might make an association between the smell of fresh bread and your grandmother's kitchen, for example.

Definitions of association

n a formal organization of people or groups of people

“he joined the Modern Language Association
Ku Klux Klan
a secret society of white Southerners in the United States; was formed in the 19th century to resist the emancipation of slaves; used terrorist tactics to suppress Black people
Medellin cartel
a drug cartel in Colombia; controlled the production of cocaine from the 1970s until 1993 when the leader was killed
Cali cartel
a drug cartel that seized control of cocaine production in Colombia in 1993; adopted techniques used by terrorist organizations (small cells and sophisticated communications equipment and close ties with politicians etc.)
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American Baptist Convention, Northern Baptist Convention
an association of Northern Baptists
Southern Baptist Convention
an association of Southern Baptists
an association formed and operated for the benefit of those using it
club, gild, guild, lodge, order, social club, society
a formal association of people with similar interests
family, fellowship
an association of people who share common beliefs or activities
American Legion
the largest organization of United States war veterans
VFW, Veterans of Foreign Wars
an organization of United States war veterans
conference, league
an association of sports teams that organizes matches for its members
secret society
a society that conceals its activities from nonmembers
consortium, pool, syndicate
an association of companies for some definite purpose
professional association
an association of practitioners of a given profession
Fabian Society
an association of British socialists who advocate gradual reforms within the law leading to democratic socialism
gang, mob, pack, ring
an association of criminals
association of ex-servicemen
chamber of commerce
an association of businessmen to protect and promote business interests
an association organized to promote art or science or education
sisterhood, sistership
an association or society of women who are linked together by a common religion or trade or interest
AARP, Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons
an association of people to promote the welfare of senior citizens
National Association of Realtors
a United States association of real estate agents which follows a strict code of ethics
ASEAN, Association of Southeast Asian Nations
an association of nations dedicated to economic and political cooperation in southeastern Asia and who joined with the United States to fight against global terrorism
Christian fellowship or communion with God or with fellow Christians; said in particular of the early Christian community
athenaeum, atheneum
a literary or scientific association for the promotion of learning
a club that people join in order to buy selected books at reduced prices
a local branch of some fraternity or association
chess club
a club of people to play chess
country club
a suburban club for recreation and socializing
frat, fraternity
a social club for male undergraduates
glee club
a club organized to sing together
golf club
a club of people to play golf
hunt, hunt club
an association of huntsmen who hunt for sport
investors club
a club of small investors who buy and sell securities jointly
jockey club
a club to promote and regulate horse racing
racket club
club for players of racket sports
rowing club
a club for rowers
slate club
a group of people who save money in a common fund for a specific purpose (usually distributed at Christmas)
a social club for female undergraduates
a club of tumblers or gymnasts
boat club, yacht club
club that promotes and supports yachting and boating
big league, major league, majors
the most important league in any sport (especially baseball)
bush league, minor league, minors
a league of teams that do not belong to a major league (especially baseball)
baseball league
a league of baseball teams
basketball league
a league of basketball teams
bowling league
a league of bowling teams
football league
a league of football teams
hockey league
a league of hockey teams
Ivy League
a league of universities and colleges in the northeastern United States that have a reputation for scholastic achievement and social prestige
Freemasonry, Masonry
Freemasons collectively
National Volunteers Association, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
an all-male organization begun in 1925 to foster nationalism in India's Hindus
service club
a club of professional or business people organized for their coordination and active in public services
cartel, combine, corporate trust, trust
a consortium of independent organizations formed to limit competition by controlling the production and distribution of a product or service
class, division
a league ranked by quality
a gang of people (criminals or spies or terrorists) assembled in one locality
youth gang
a gang whose members are teenagers
Type of:
organisation, organization
a group of people who work together

n a social or business relationship

“many close associations with England”
affiliation, tie, tie-up
Type of:
a state involving mutual dealings between people or parties or countries

n the act of consorting with or joining with others

“you cannot be convicted of criminal guilt by association
fraternisation, fraternization
associating with others in a brotherly or friendly way; especially with an enemy
the act of becoming formally connected or joined
affiliation anew
Type of:
social activity
activity considered appropriate on social occasions

n (ecology) a group of organisms (plants and animals) that live together in a certain geographical region and constitute a community with a few dominant species

an association between organisms that is harmful to one of them or between organisms and a metabolic product of another
Type of:
group, grouping
any number of entities (members) considered as a unit

n a relation resulting from interaction or dependence

“flints were found in association with the prehistoric remains of the bear”
“the host is not always injured by association with a parasite”
Type of:
an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of two entities or parts together

n the process of bringing ideas or events together in memory or imagination

“conditioning is a form of learning by association
connection, connexion
the connection of isolated facts by a general hypothesis
generalisation, generalization, induction, inductive reasoning
reasoning from detailed facts to general principles
Type of:
memory, remembering
the cognitive processes whereby past experience is remembered

n the state of being connected together as in memory or imagination

“his association of his father with being beaten was too strong to break”
the state of being unconnected in memory or imagination
Type of:
unification, union
the state of being joined or united or linked

n (chemistry) any process of combination (especially in solution) that depends on relatively weak chemical bonding

the process of combining with water; usually reversible
a chemical process in which solvent molecules and molecules or ions of the solute combine to form a compound
Type of:
chemical action, chemical change, chemical process
(chemistry) any process determined by the atomic and molecular composition and structure of the substances involved

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