From Late Middle English commū̆nitẹ̄, from Old French communité, comunité, comunete (modern French communauté), from Classical Latin commūnitās (“community; public spirit”), from commūnis (“common, ordinary; of or for the community, public”) + -itās (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *-teh₂ts (“suffix forming nouns indicating a state of being”)). Commūnis is derived from con- (“prefix indicating a being or bringing together of several objects”) (from cum (“with”), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *ḱóm (“along, at, next to, with”)) + mūnus (“employment, office, service; burden, duty, obligation”) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *mey- (“to change, exchange”)).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /kəˈmjuːnɪti/
- (General American, Canada) enPR: kə-myo͞oʹnə-ti, IPA(key): /k(ə)ˈmjunəti/, [k(ə)ˈmjunəɾi]
Audio (GA) (file)
Audio (CA) (file)
- Hyphenation: com‧mun‧i‧ty
- (countable) A group sharing a common understanding, and often the same language, law, manners, and/or tradition.
1814, William Wordsworth, The Excursion, being a Portion of The Recluse; a Poem, London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, Paternoster-Row, OCLC 150657149, book the fourth (Despondency Corrected), page 161:
- Nor wanting here, to entertain the thought, / Creatures, that in communities exist, / Less, at might seem, for general guardianship / Or through dependance upon mutual aid, / Than by participation of delight / And a strict love of fellowship, combined.
1827, Henry Hallam, “On the English Constitution from Henry VII to Mary”, in The Constitutional History of England from the Accession of Henry VII to the Death of George II, volume I, Paris: Printed for L. Baudry, at the English, Italian, German and Spanish Library, No. 9, rue du Coq-Saint-Honoré; Lefèvre, bookseller, No. 8, rue de l'Éperon, OCLC 977841765, page 17:
- Henry VII obtained from his first parliament a grant of tonnage and poundage during life, according to several precedents of former reigns. But when general subsidies were granted, the same people […] twice broke out into dangerous rebellions; and as these, however arising from such immediate discontent, were yet connected a good deal with the opinion of Henry's usurpation, and the claims of a pretender, it was a necessary policy to avoid too frequent imposition of burdens upon the poorer classes of the community.
1891 March 15, Oscar Wilde, “The Soul of Man under Socialism”, in Oscar Wilde; William Morris; W[illiam] C[harles] Owen, The Soul of Man under Socialism, The Socialist Ideal—Art and The Coming Solidarity (The Humboldt Library of Science; no. 147), New York, N.Y.: The Humboldt Publishing Company, 28 Lafayette Place, OCLC 3682313, pages 14–15:
- As one reads history—not in the expurgated editions written for schoolboys and passmen, but in the original authorities of each time—one is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted; and a community is infinitely more brutalized by the habitual employment of punishment, than it is by the occasional occurrence of crime.
2013 June 7, Joseph Stiglitz, “Globalisation is about taxes too”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, archived from the original on 16 November 2016, page 19:
- It is time the international community faced the reality: we have an unmanageable, unfair, distortionary global tax regime. It is a tax system that is pivotal in creating the increasing inequality that marks most advanced countries today – with America standing out in the forefront and the UK not far behind.
- (countable) A residential or religious collective; a commune.
- (countable, ecology) A group of interdependent organisms inhabiting the same region and interacting with each other.
- (countable, Internet) A group of people interacting by electronic means for educational, professional, social, or other purposes; a virtual community.
- (uncountable) The condition of having certain attitudes and interests in common.
- (countable, obsolete) Common enjoyment or possession; participation.
a community of goods
1689, [John Locke], “Of Adam’s Title to Sovereignty by Donation, Gen[esis] 1.28”, in Two Treatises of Government: In the Former, the False Principles, and Foundation of Sir Robert Filmer, and His Followers, are Detected and Overthrown. The Latter is an Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent, and End of Civil Government, London: Printed for Awnsham Churchill, at the Black Swan in Ave-Mary-Lane, by Amen-Corner, published 1690, OCLC 83985187; republished London: Printed for Awnsham and John Churchill, at the Black Swan in Pater-Noster-Row, 1698, OCLC 13656711, page 39:
- To conclude, this Text is ſo far from proving Adam Sole Proprietor, that on the contrary, it is a Confirmation of the Original Community of all Things amongſt the Sons of Men, which appearing from this Donation of God, as well as other places of Scripture; the Sovraignty of Adam, built upon his Private Dominion, muſt fall, not having any Foundation to ſupport it.
1819 October 9, [Washington Irving], “The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. No. III. The Wife.”, in The Literary Gazette, and Journal of Belles Lettres, Arts, Sciences, etc., volume III, number 142, London: Printed by William Pople, No. 67, Chancery Lane; published for the proprietors, at the Literary Gazette office, Strand; sold also by Bell and Bradfute, Edinburgh; John Cumming, Dublin; and all other booksellers, newsmen, &c., OCLC 276732578, page 649, column 1:
- Besides, you are depriving yourself of the comforts of her sympathy; and not merely that, but also endangering the only bond that can keep hearts together—an unreserved community of thought and feeling.
- (uncountable, obsolete) Common character; likeness.
1797, John Wilde, Sequel to an Address to the Lately Formed Society of the Friends of the People, Edinburgh: Printed for Peter Hill; and T[homas] Cadell, Jun. and W. Davies, London, OCLC 731554511, page 1:
- We are now in the ninth year of the anarchy of France. […] A diſpoſition to peace has been diſplayed, without conſideration of the royal family of France. The natural horror at the effuſion of blood cannot be too ſtrong, and might of itſelf perſuade us to any ſort of peace; but it is a great queſtion, whether in this we ſhould loſe our natural horror at crime. Peace with France cannot be friendſhip with France. There can be no community between us and them, unleſs by allying ourſelves with murder, and ſanctioning and ſharing in the pillage of thieves.
1864, Herbert Spencer, “Growth”, in The Principles of Biology (A System of Synthetic Philosophy; II), volume I, London; Edinburgh: Williams and Norgate, 14, Henrietta Steet, Covent Garden, London; and 20, South Frederick Street, Edinburgh, OCLC 5804208, part II (The Inductions of Biology), § 43, pages 107–108:
- The essential community of nature between organic growth and inorganic growth, is, however, most clearly seen on observing that they both result in the same way. The segregation of different kinds of detritus from each other, as well as from the water carrying them, and their aggregation into distinct strata, is but an instance of a universl tendency towards the union of like units and the parting of unlike units […].
- (uncountable, obsolete) Commonness; frequency.
c. 1597, [William Shakespeare], The History of Henrie the Fovrth; vvith the Battell at Shrewsburie, betweene the King and Lord Henry Percy, Surnamed Henrie Hotspur of the North. With the Humorous Conceits of Sir Iohn Falstalffe, quarto edition, London: Printed by P[eter] S[hort] for Andrew Wise, dwelling in Paules Churchyard, at the signe of the Angell, published 1598, OCLC 932916628, [Act III, scene ii]:
- So when he had occaſion to be ſeene, / He was but as the Cuckoe is in Iune, / Heard, not regarded: Seene, but with ſuch eie / As ſicke and blunted with communitie, / Affoord no extraordinary gaze.
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