kib·​butz ki-ˈbu̇ts How to pronounce kibbutz (audio) -ˈbüts How to pronounce kibbutz (audio)
plural kibbutzim ki-ˌbu̇t-ˈsēm How to pronounce kibbutz (audio)
: a communal farm or settlement in Israel

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A kibbutz is a communal settlement in Israel in which all wealth is held in common and profits are reinvested in the settlement. The first kibbutz was founded in 1909; currently there are about 270, with a total population exceeding 120,000. Adults live in private quarters, while children are generally housed and cared for as a group. Meals are prepared and eaten communally. Members have regular meetings to discuss business and to take votes on matters requiring decisions. Jobs may be assigned by rotation, by choice, or by skill.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Solowey, a veteran researcher at the kibbutz’s Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, spent six weeks checking in on the seeds every morning: nothing. Matti Friedman, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Dec. 2022 Joe Cocker was playing at a kibbutz every other year. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Sep. 2022 When Anish was sixteen, he and Roy were sent to Israel to live on a kibbutz. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 15 Aug. 2022 Smoothly segueing between life on the kibbutz and the travails of the Egyptian troops, Nesher’s longtime editor Isaac Sehayek keeps things pacey and clear. Alissa Simon, Variety, 15 July 2022 Force-of-nature Mira is the kibbutz’s radio operator, a young mother and crack shot, who is first on the scene in any emergency. Alissa Simon, Variety, 15 July 2022 The minister assured Boric that the Ambassador was a progressive, raised on a kibbutz. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 6 June 2022 Salovey based his award-winning script on the memoir of Sherri Mandell, whose 13-year-old son was murdered, along with a school friend, on a kibbutz near Jerusalem in 2001. San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Apr. 2022 The Israeli military said the rocket landed in an open area near a small kibbutz, causing no injuries. Dov Lieber, WSJ, 25 Apr. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Modern Hebrew qibbūṣ

First Known Use

1926, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kibbutz was in 1926

Dictionary Entries Near kibbutz

Cite this Entry

“Kibbutz.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



kib·​butz kib-ˈu̇ts How to pronounce kibbutz (audio) -ˈüts How to pronounce kibbutz (audio)
plural kibbutzim -ˌu̇t-ˈsēm How to pronounce kibbutz (audio)
: a farming settlement in Israel that is owned and shared equally by the people who live there and run it

More from Merriam-Webster on kibbutz

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