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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 self-communion
Historical Examples
  • There must be a wonderful soothing power in mere words since so many men have used them for self-communion.

    Under Western Eyes Joseph Conrad
  • She was one of those women who seem to find nothing in self-communion.

    The Harbor of Doubt Frank Williams
  • In that light and attitude she might have seemed some rapt acolyte abandoned to self-communion.

  • At this moment, while in self-communion, the military command: "Halt!"

    Lincoln's Last Hours Charles A. Leale
  • "Jim is just giving them his breakfast about this time," he went on with his self-communion.

    Sunset Pass Charles King
  • He emerged from that self-communion freshly shaved and smoking a cigar.

    The Shadow Arthur Stringer
  • There was something even of conjugal philosophy in his self-communion upon the occasion.

    Rookwood William Harrison Ainsworth
  • My self-communion as I walked away from his door, trying to believe that this was for the last time, was not satisfactory.

    'Twixt Land & Sea Joseph Conrad
  • In short, my self-communion ended in some very sage resolutions.

    Autumn Leaves Various
  • This last was an interrogatory which Mary Musgrove was often found putting to herself, in winding up a self-communion.

    Horse-Shoe Robinson John Pendleton Kennedy
British Dictionary definitions for self-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 self-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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self-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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