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[kuh-myoon-yuh n] /kəˈmyun yən/
(often initial capital letter). Also called Holy Communion. Ecclesiastical.
  1. the act of receiving the Eucharistic elements.
  2. the elements of the Eucharist.
  3. the celebration of the Eucharist.
  4. the antiphon sung at a Eucharistic service.
a group of persons having a common religious faith; a religious denomination:
Anglican communion.
association; fellowship.
interchange or sharing of thoughts or emotions; intimate communication:
communion with nature.
the act of sharing, or holding in common; participation.
the state of things so held.
Origin of communion
1350-1400; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin commūniōn- (stem of commūniō) a sharing, equivalent to commūn(is) common + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
communionable, adjective
communional, adjective
self-communion, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for communion
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Alabama forbids the sale of liquor for everything but the communion.

  • Ah, no, I have confessed to a monk, and I wished to receive the communion from a monk!

    En Route J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans
  • This part of her life was wholly unfamiliar to him—here he had no communion with his wife.

    Mashi and Other Stories Rabindranath Tagore
  • He had got no good from that communion, but he was also too young at it.

    En Route J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans
  • I know no book that gives me a deeper sense of communion with a large as well as beautiful mind.

British Dictionary definitions for communion


an exchange of thoughts, emotions, etc
possession or sharing in common; participation
(foll by with) strong emotional or spiritual feelings (for): communion with nature
a religious group or denomination having a common body of beliefs, doctrines, and practices
the spiritual union held by Christians to exist between individual Christians and Christ, their Church, or their fellow Christians
Derived Forms
communional, adjective
communionally, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin commūniō general participation, from commūniscommon


noun (Christianity)
the act of participating in the Eucharist
the celebration of the Eucharist, esp the part of the service during which the consecrated elements are received
  1. the consecrated elements of the Eucharist
  2. (as modifier): Communion cup
Abbreviation Holy Communion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for communion

late 14c., from Old French comunion "community, communion" (12c.), from Latin communionem (nominative communio) "fellowship, mutual participation, a sharing," used in Late Latin ecclesiastical language for "participation in the sacrament," from communis (see common (adj.)). Used by Augustine, in belief that the word was derived from com- "with, together" + unus "oneness, union."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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communion in Culture

Communion definition

A sacrament of Christianity. In a reenactment of the Last Supper, the words of Jesus — “This is my body” and “This is my blood” — are spoken over bread and wine (the elements of Communion), which are then shared by the worshipers. Communion, also known as the Eucharist, commemorates the death of Jesus. (See transubstantiation.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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