com·​mu·​nal kə-ˈmyü-nᵊl How to pronounce communal (audio)
: of or relating to one or more communes
a communal organization
: of or relating to a community
: characterized by collective ownership and use of property
: participated in, shared, or used in common by members of a group or community
a communal kitchen
gathered for a communal meal
: of, relating to, or based on racial or cultural groups
communal violence
communalize 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 type of communal power that empowers demands rather than requests for equity. Ebony Flake, Essence, 29 Mar. 2024 The hotel's common areas, communal bathrooms, lobby, and restaurants are wheelchair-accessible and have accessible seating. Susmita Baral, Travel + Leisure, 29 Mar. 2024 Ellen fights for decades to carve out a space for communal alternative living in the city, then effectively loses her community by clinging to her physical home. Lily Meyer, The Atlantic, 27 Mar. 2024 There’s a long tradition of presenting England’s smalltown shopkeepers, pub-tenders, constables and vicars as kindly, communal folks who keep calm and carry on in the name of queen and country. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 27 Mar. 2024 Women are associated with more positive leadership traits, but not at the expense of being seen as communal. Katy McFee, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2024 These facilities adopted the thermae style of communal bathing, with multiple rooms to move through, while adding distinct aspects of Islamic tradition. Jack Knudson, Discover Magazine, 26 Mar. 2024 Space is limited with wooden communal tables for about 12 people inside, and three more tables out front. Carlos Rico, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Mar. 2024 The siblings found a two-part harmony moment, then supported Brice with three-part harmony on the third chorus, creating a sort of communal gathering of the principals for the finale. Tom Roland, Billboard, 20 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'communal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, from Late Latin communalis, from Latin communis

First Known Use

1796, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of communal was in 1796

Dictionary Entries Near communal

Cite this Entry

“Communal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


com·​mu·​nal kə-ˈmyün-ᵊl How to pronounce communal (audio)
: of or relating to a commune or community
: shared or used in common by members of a group or community

More from Merriam-Webster on communal

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