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 communalize (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 And yet, a TV that provides a communal, cinematic viewing experience is still an important part of the home for most people. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "The best TVs of 2020," 10 July 2020 Last year, archaeologists used ground-penetrating radar to find the cemetery, which is beneath apartment buildings, sidewalks, city streets and communal spaces within the housing development. Fox News, "Historic Black cemetery that was 'purposefully erased' during Jim Crow uncovered," 9 July 2020 The communal dining that lasted into April, the nights that feverish patients were left to sleep beside roommates who weren’t sick yet. Washington Post, "The ‘Covid Cocktail’: Inside a Pa. nursing home that gave some veterans hydroxychloroquine even without covid-19 testing," 7 July 2020 Also, to ensure guest safety, Getaway has implemented social distancing and routine cleaning procedures, such as self check-in, reduced capacity, absence of communal spaces, and cabins spaced at least 50 to 150 feet apart. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, "Getaway Is The Ultimate Black Women’s Wellness Retreat," 7 July 2020 What is a Zoom meeting but another communal experience of intense loneliness? George Blaustein, The New Republic, "Searching for Consolation in Max Weber’s Work Ethic," 2 July 2020 But can a socially distant cinema offer the same communal experience? Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "British cinemas are confronting the economics of reopening," 25 June 2020 No buffet, large dining hall or communal food-sharing will be offered on board (though a buffet was never part Virgin Voyages' original plan for Scarlet Lady). Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "EXCLUSIVE: Virgin Voyages announces 'Voyage Well' health plan for Scarlet Lady ship," 19 June 2020 Upon learning that communal dining was indefinitely cancelled, the father of one of McPherson’s clients began losing the ability to read, a loss the daughter attributed to the stress brought on by the disruptions. Paul Bayfield, National Geographic, "For dementia patients and their families, isolation during the pandemic is a heavy burden," 9 June 2020

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

13 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Communal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for communal


How to pronounce communal (audio)

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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