• synonyms


[German guh-mahyn-shahft]
noun, plural ge·mein·schaf·ten [German guh-mahyn-shahf-tuh n] /German gəˈmaɪnˌʃɑf tən/. (often initial capital letter)
  1. an association of individuals having sentiments, tastes, and attitudes in common; fellowship.
  2. Sociology. a society or group characterized chiefly by a strong sense of common identity, close personal relationships, and an attachment to traditional and sentimental concerns.
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Compare gesellschaft.

Origin of gemeinschaft

1935–40; < German: community, equivalent to gemein common + -schaft -ship
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gemeinschaft

Historical Examples of gemeinschaft

  • For lack of a more suitable English equivalent I have translated Gemeinschaft as communion.

    A Commentary to Kant's 'Critique of Pure Reason'

    Norman Kemp Smith

  • They went by the name of the Gemeinschaft der Heiligen, and the fervours of the community were at least those of genuine votaries.

    The Youth of Goethe

    Peter Hume Brown

British Dictionary definitions for gemeinschaft


noun plural -schaften (German -ʃaftən)
  1. (often capital) a social group united by common beliefs, family ties, etcCompare gesellschaft
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Word Origin for gemeinschaft

German, literally: community
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 gemeinschaft


1887, from German gemeinschaft "social relationship based on affection or kinship" (contrasted with gesellschaft), from gemein "common, general" + -schaft "-ship."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper