com·​mu·​nal | \ kə-ˈmyü-nᵊl How to pronounce communal (audio) , ˈkäm-yə-nᵊl \

Definition of communal

1 : of or relating to one or more communes a communal organization
2 : of or relating to a community
3a : characterized by collective ownership and use of property
b : participated in, shared, or used in common by members of a group or community a communal kitchen gathered for a communal meal
4 : of, relating to, or based on racial or cultural groups communal violence

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Other Words from communal

communalize \ kə-​ˈmyü-​nə-​ˌlīz How to pronounce communal (audio) , ˈkäm-​yə-​ \ transitive verb
communally adverb

Examples of communal in a Sentence

The tribe lived in communal huts. the communal experience of riding on the train
Recent Examples on the Web Creating community through collaborations like these builds a collective frequency of perspectives seeking personal and communal connection through spirit and vision. Emily Farra, Vogue, 3 June 2021 His book is an attempt to illuminate the uncelebrated dividends—both individual and communal—of pouring yourself into a cause, place, craft, or group, whether that means looking out for local cats, or something else. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, 1 June 2021 The conflict between Hamas militants in Gaza and Israel this time around spilled over into villages and cities across Israel, dividing Israelis and Palestinians in ways that tore apart the political and communal fabric of the country. Andy Meek, Forbes, 27 May 2021 Some critics fear that, as social robots improve, they will be used as a means of care rationing—and that insisting on human company, at personal or family or communal expense, will be seen as a kind of indulgence. Katie Engelhart, The New Yorker, 24 May 2021 While Porridge + Puffs (tiny, communal and with no outdoor space) remains temporarily closed, Phenakite gets all of Phan’s energy. Bill Addison, Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2021 Masks must be worn in most indoor public and communal spaces there, and Scottish authorities recommend wearing face coverings outdoors where social distancing is tricky. Washington Post, 28 Apr. 2021 This year, the producers want to focus less on winning and instead make sure the notably diverse group of nominees has a better-than-average time by making the event more communal and intimate. New York Times, 18 Apr. 2021 Many Muslims feel the same way, which is why many prefer secular governments, keeping their faith personal and communal. Mustafa Akyol, WSJ, 15 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'communal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of communal

1796, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for communal

French, from Late Latin communalis, from Latin communis

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Time Traveler for communal

Time Traveler

The first known use of communal was in 1796

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Statistics for communal

Last Updated

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Communal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for communal



English Language Learners Definition of communal

: shared or used by members of a group or community
: relating to or involving members of a commune (sense 1)
: relating to a situation in which you are doing something with other people


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