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.

Examples of kibbutz in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Both had been kidnapped from the same house in Nir Yitzhak, a kibbutz near the border with Gaza, along with other family members, among them Clara Marman, who is Mr. Marman’s sister and Mr. Har’s partner. Hiba Yazbek, New York Times, 12 Feb. 2024 Three months ago, he was kidnapped from his kibbutz, Nir Oz, along with his 4-year-old brother, Ariel, and their parents, Shiri and Yarden. NBC News, 19 Jan. 2024 The scene Safer and friends encountered at the Nova festival memorial may have been different from that at the base and the kibbutz survivor hotel, but the upshot was the same. Deborah Fineblum, Sun Sentinel, 3 Jan. 2024 Hagi’s wife, 70-year-old Judy Weinstein, is wounded and still being held hostage, the kibbutz said. Abc News, ABC News, 24 Dec. 2023 The document says two joined Hamas terrorists in raiding an Israeli kibbutz and directly participated in violence, another two staffers kidnapped an Israeli woman, holding her hostage in their personal home; and, another UN staffer doled out ammunition to the Hamas terrorists. Lawrence Richard, Fox News, 29 Jan. 2024 Clara’s daughter, Gefen Sigal Ilan, was in touch with her mother until she and the other hostages were taken through the fence surrounding the kibbutz. David Harsanyi, National Review, 25 Jan. 2024 The ambulance was unable to reach them as the kibbutz came under attack, and the paramedic lost contact with them. Victoria Bisset, Washington Post, 22 Dec. 2023 All five were seized from a safe room at a family member's home in the kibbutz Nir Yitzhak. John Bacon, USA TODAY, 13 Feb. 2024

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

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 14 Apr. 2024.

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

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