kib·​butz | \ ki-ˈbu̇ts How to pronounce kibbutz (audio) , -ˈbüts How to pronounce kibbutz (audio) \
plural kibbutzim\ ki-​ˌbu̇t-​ˈsēm How to pronounce kibbutzim (audio) , -​ˌbüt-​ \

Definition of kibbutz

: 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 In the weeks before my visit, rainstorms had swept through the country, leaving the team of thirty excavators, most of them fresh-faced students from Australia’s Macquarie University, to sit idle for days at a nearby kibbutz. Ruth Margalit, The New Yorker, "In Search of King David’s Lost Empire," 22 June 2020 There would be rotating responsibilities, but also necessary professionals — an arrangement comparable to the Israeli kibbutz. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "New revelations tell why a socialist commune failed in Dallas. (Hint: it wasn’t the socialism)," 15 Apr. 2020 His experience working on a kibbutz is framed as a lesson in socialism, not in ethnic solidarity. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, "An Outside Chance," 12 Mar. 2020 Sanders volunteered on an Israeli kibbutz, a communal farm, in the 1960s. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Bloomberg suggests Sanders wants to ‘turn America into a kibbutz’," 27 Jan. 2020 Any money earned on the outside was given to the kibbutz. Lee Edwards, National Review, "Three Nations That Tried Socialism and Rejected It," 14 Oct. 2019 Brand, who was raised on an Israeli kibbutz and immigrated to America at 13 years old, inspired fierce devotion among his athletes., "train its athletic personnel," 10 Nov. 2019 Aliza is preparing to retire as principal of the regional school that serves several kibbutzim. Michael Shapiro, Longreads, "Book of Lamentations," 29 Oct. 2019 The kibbutzim were small farming communities in which people did chores in exchange for food and money to live on and pay their bills. Lee Edwards, National Review, "Three Nations That Tried Socialism and Rejected It," 14 Oct. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of kibbutz

1926, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kibbutz

Modern Hebrew qibbūṣ

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Time Traveler for kibbutz

Time Traveler

The first known use of kibbutz was in 1926

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Statistics for kibbutz

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Kibbutz.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for kibbutz


How to pronounce kibbutz (audio) How to pronounce kibbutz (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of kibbutz

: a farm in Israel on which a group of people live and work together

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More from Merriam-Webster on kibbutz

Spanish Central: Translation of kibbutz

Nglish: Translation of kibbutz for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kibbutz for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about kibbutz

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