communism

[kom-yuh-niz-uh m]

noun

a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.
(often initial capital letter) a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party.
(initial capital letter) the principles and practices of the Communist Party.

Nearby words

  1. communion sunday,
  2. communion table,
  3. communionist,
  4. communique,
  5. communiqué,
  6. communism peak,
  7. communist,
  8. communist china,
  9. communist international,
  10. communist manifesto

Origin of communism

From the French word communisme, dating back to 1835–45. See common, -ism

Related formsan·ti·com·mu·nism, nounpro·com·mun·ism, noun, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for communism


British Dictionary definitions for communism

communism

noun

advocacy of a classless society in which private ownership has been abolished and the means of production and subsistence belong to the community
any social, economic, or political movement or doctrine aimed at achieving such a society
(usually capital) a political movement based upon the writings of Marx that considers history in terms of class conflict and revolutionary struggle, resulting eventually in the victory of the proletariat and the establishment of a socialist order based on public ownership of the means of productionSee also Marxism, Marxism-Leninism, socialism
(usually capital) a social order or system of government established by a ruling Communist Party, esp in the former Soviet Union
(often capital) mainly US any leftist political activity or thought, esp when considered to be subversive
communal living; communalism

Word Origin for communism

C19: from French communisme, from commun common

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

Word Origin and History for communism

communism

n.

"social system based on collective ownership," 1843, from French communisme (c.1840) from commun (Old French comun; see common (adj.)) + -isme (see -ism). Originally a theory of society; as name of a political system, 1850, a translation of German Kommunismus (itself from French), in Marx and Engels' "Manifesto of the Communist Party." Cf. communist. In some cases in early and mid-20c., a term of abuse implying anti-social criminality without regard to political theory.

Each [i.e. socialism, communism, anarchism] stands for a state of things, or a striving after it, that differs much from that which we know; & for many of us, especially those who are comfortably at home in the world as it is, they have consequently come to be the positive, comparative, & superlative, distinguished not in kind but in degree only, of the terms of abuse applicable to those who would disturb our peace. [Fowler]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for communism

communism

An economic and social system envisioned by the nineteenth-century German scholar Karl Marx (see also Marx). In theory, under communism, all means of production are owned in common, rather than by individuals (see Marxism and Marxism-Leninism). In practice, a single authoritarian party controls both the political and economic systems. In the twentieth century, communism was associated with the economic and political systems of China and the Soviet Union and of the satellites of the Soviet Union. (Compare capitalism and socialism.)

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