com·​mu·​nal | \kə-ˈmyü-nᵊl, 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, 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

The results suggest that Kenya’s ancient herders constructed them as a communal effort to cope with an unstable environment and a shifting cultural frontier. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists explore East Africa’s ancient monumental cemeteries," 21 Aug. 2018 Inside, each of the house’s two floors has its own mezzanine and forms a separate apartment: one for Macullo, upstairs, and one for a friend and her three daughters, downstairs, where there is also a communal kitchen. Shonquis Moreno, Curbed, "‘If you take out the art, the building itself can’t stand’," 6 Aug. 2018 The facility would include a communal kitchen and dining, activity and outdoor spaces. Priscella Vega,, "Proposal for assisted-living facility in Huntington Beach is delayed at applicant’s request," 13 June 2018 Echoing the laissez-faire affability that buttresses the brands of Lyft and Airbnb, Common and WeLive flaunt the opportunity to foster relationships through communal kitchens and suites. Julianne Tveten, The New Republic, "Silicon Valley’s “Flexibility” Fetish," 31 May 2018 The Alpine Club of Canada manages an entire network of these communal, hike-in cabins tucked deep in the Rockies, pairing pure isolation with relative ease of access. Daniel Otis, Sunset, "Awe-Inspiring Canadian Rockies Camping Adventure," 22 Jan. 2018 Its Americana aesthetic – think wood-burning stoves in the communal kitchen, screened-in porches, and a cherrywood check-in desk – recalls the building's history. Devin Alessio, ELLE Decor, "Take A Weekend Getaway In Hudson, New York," 16 Sep. 2016 All of the units have a living room with glass doors that slide open onto a wooden deck facing a communal courtyard. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "These Japanese homes were designed to encourage neighbor interaction," 15 Nov. 2018 Peloton hosts an event every year called the Home Rider Invasion, which brings Pel-grims to the city for a giant communal ride. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "Peloton’s $2,000 stationary bike has totally disrupted working out at home," 14 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for communal

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for communal

The first known use of communal was in 1796

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on communal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for communal

Spanish Central: Translation of communal

Nglish: Translation of communal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of communal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on communal

What made you want to look up communal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

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