[ kuh-myoo-ni-tee ]
/ kəˈmyu nɪ ti /
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See synonyms for: community / communities on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural com·mu·ni·ties.
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Origin of community

First recorded in 1325–75; from Latin commūnitās, equivalent to commūni(s) “common” + -tās noun suffix; replacing Middle English comunete, from Middle French, from Latin as above; see common, -ty2;

synonym study for community

1. Community, hamlet, village, town, city are terms for groups of people living in somewhat close association, and usually under common rules. Community is a general term, and town is often loosely applied. A commonly accepted set of connotations envisages hamlet as a small group, village as a somewhat larger one, town still larger, and city as very large. Size is, however, not the true basis of differentiation, but properly sets off only hamlet. Incorporation, or the absence of it, and the type of government determine the classification of the others.


com·mu·ni·tal, adjectivepro·com·mu·nity, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a community?

A community is a social group whose members have something in common, such as a shared government, geographic location, culture, or heritage.

Community can also refer to the physical location where such a group lives. It can refer to a town, city, village, or other area with a formal government whose residents share a nationality or culture, as in A group of town citizens decided to clean up the litter in their community. 

Community can also refer to the people who live in this area, as in Filipe was able to raise money for the city’s homeless shelter with help from the community. 

More generally, community can refer to a group that shares some trait or quality that separates it from the wider population as in Tracy was excited to find that the Muslim community in her city often held free talks on being a Muslim American. 

Example: Ria entered politics to help improve the lives of the people in her community. 

Where does community come from?

The first records of the word community comes from around 1325. It comes from the Latin commūnitās, meaning “joint possession or use.” A community has something in common, such as a geographic location or a shared culture.

In terms of a specific location, community is a more general term than words like burrough, village, or city. When you refer to the community you live in, you could mean something as small as your neighborhood or as large as a metropolitan area.

The sense of community that refers to a group of people with shared traits or qualities is frequently used when people talk about demographics. You have probably heard of polls or studies of “the Hispanic community” or “the Christian community,” for example. You’ll find this usage in academics, politics, business, and similar fields.

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What are some other forms related to community?

  • communital (adjective)
  • procomunity (adjective)

What are some synonyms for community?

What are some words that share a root or word element with community

What are some words that often get used in discussing community?

How is community used in real life?

The word community is common and is often used to refer to groups of people or the places where they live.

Try using community!

Is community used correctly in the following sentence?

The charity group raised money to help local communities impacted by hurricanes.

How to use community in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for community

/ (kəˈmjuːnɪtɪ) /

noun plural -ties

Word Origin for community

C14: from Latin commūnitās, from commūnis 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

Scientific definitions for community

[ kə-myōōnĭ-tē ]

A group of organisms or populations living and interacting with one another in a particular environment. The organisms in a community affect each other's abundance, distribution, and evolutionary adaptation. Depending on how broadly one views the interaction between organisms, a community can be small and local, as in a pond or tree, or regional or global, as in a biome.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.