six degrees of separation


Also found in: Idioms, Wikipedia.

six degrees of separation

A term referring to the observation that any person on Earth is, on average, six “steps” away from knowing any other person, such that a chain of "a friend of a friend" statements can be made to connect any two people in no more than 6 steps. This social and mathematical conundrum was formulated in the mid-1960s, and characterises the interwoven webs of acquaintances among friends, neighbours, colleagues and relatives.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Pressly wished Hawkins and the cast of "Six Degrees of Separation" all the best for the Tony Awards.
"He was 95 when he died, so I spoke to a man who met Buffalo Bill!" This brings to mind the theory of six degrees of separation, an idea that has been around since 1929, and which spawned a play, film, TV programmes and a Hollywood parlour game involving actor Kevin Bacon, currently advertising the EE phone network.
"Six Degrees of Separation" is a theory posited by psychologist Stanley Milgram in a 1967 study, for which 296 volunteers from Boston and Nebraska attempted to get a document to a Massachusetts stockbroker using only their acquaintances.
Goldberg is teaching Get a Basic Website Up in 7 Weeks at Palm Beach Central High School and his new, fun rock music genealogy course, The Beatles: Six Degrees of Separation at Atlantic Community High School in Delray Beach (starts Monday, January 25th).
The 51-year-old Mitchell's other Broadway credits include "Big River,'' "The Secret Garden'' and "Six Degrees of Separation.''
In the virtual world, six degrees of separation - the theory that you are only six steps away from knowing any other person in the world - has probably narrowed down to three.Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn et al have played a big part in fostering social connections.
The pieces are drawn from plays and scripts that range from William Shakespeare's 'Midsummer Night's Dream", to John Guare's 'Six Degrees of Separation'; to Eugene O'Neil's 'Long Day's Journey into Night'; to Arthur Miller's 'The Prince'.
Other projects include Enemy of the State, Six Degrees of Separation, I, Robot, I Am Legend, Seven Pounds and Hancock.
But in Shari Goldhagen's skilled narrative, these twists reveal themselves naturally in a sort of fictional six degrees of separation.
But if you're a fan of the six degrees of separation theory, as I am, you can't fail to be impressed that I was practically a guest at the wedding of the millennium.