Civil society is the "aggregate of non-governmental organizations and institutions that manifest interests and will of citizens".
A society is a group of people involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations.
A non-governmental organization is a not-for-profit organization that is independent from states and international governmental organizations.
Civil society includes the family and the private sphere, referred to as the "third sector" of society, distinct from government and business.
By other authors, "civil society" is used in the sense of 1 the aggregate of non-governmental organizations and institutions that manifest interests and will of citizens or 2 individuals and organizations in a society which are independent of the government.
Sometimes the term civil society is used in the more general sense of "the elements such as freedom of speech, an independent judiciary, etc, that make up a democratic society" Collins English Dictionary.
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state.
The Collins English Dictionary is a printed and online dictionary of English.
Especially in the discussions among thinkers of Eastern and Central Europe, civil society is seen also as a concept of civic values.
One widely known representative of this concept is the Polish former dissident Adam Michnik.
Adam Michnik is a Polish historian, essayist, former dissident, public intellectual, and editor-in-chief of the Polish newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza.
Institutions composing civil society may be for-profit or not-for-profit.