from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A group of people living in the same locality and under the same government.
  • noun The district or locality in which such a group lives.
  • noun A group of people having common interests.
  • noun A group viewed as forming a distinct segment of society.
  • noun Similarity or identity.
  • noun Sharing, participation, and fellowship.
  • noun Society as a whole; the public.
  • noun A group of organisms interacting with one another and with the environment in a specific region.
  • noun The region occupied by a group of interacting organisms.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Common possession or enjoyment; the holding or sharing of interests, possessions, or privileges in common by two or more individuals: as, a community of goods; community of interests between husband and wife.
  • noun Life in association with others; the social state.
  • noun A number of people associated together by the fact of residence in the same locality, or of subjection to the same local laws and regulations; a village, township, or municipality.
  • noun A society or association of persons having common interests or privileges, commercial, social, political, or ecclesiastical, and subject to the same regulations; now, especially, a society of this nature in which the members reside together or in the same locality: as, the Oneida Community (see below).
  • noun The body of people in a state or commonwealth; the public, or people in general: used in this sense always with the definite article.
  • noun Commonness; frequency.
  • noun In logic, the being possessed in common by several subjects.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Common possession or enjoyment; participation.
  • noun A body of people having common rights, privileges, or interests, or living in the same place under the same laws and regulations. Hence a number of animals living in a common home or with some apparent association of interests.
  • noun Society at large; a commonwealth or state; a body politic; the public, or people in general.
  • noun rare Common character; likeness.
  • noun obsolete Commonness; frequency.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A group sharing a common understanding and often the same language, manners, tradition and law. See civilization.
  • noun A commune, or residential or religious collective.
  • noun The condition of having certain attitudes and interests in common.
  • noun ecology A group of interdependent organisms inhabiting the same region and interacting with each other.
  • noun Internet A group of people interacting by electronic means for social, professional, educational or other purposes; a virtual community.
  • noun obsolete Common possession or enjoyment; participation.
  • noun obsolete common character; likeness.
  • noun obsolete commonness; frequency

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a group of people living in a particular local area
  • noun a group of nations having common interests
  • noun (ecology) a group of interdependent organisms inhabiting the same region and interacting with each other
  • noun a district where people live; occupied primarily by private residences
  • noun common ownership
  • noun agreement as to goals


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English communite, citizenry, from Old French, from Latin commūnitās, fellowship, from commūnis, common; see common.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French communité, from Classical Latin communitas, from commūnis ("common"). Cognates include French communauté.


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  • I just spent 30 minutes in a meeting where participants (unsuccessfully) tried to decide what they meant by "community."

    December 16, 2006

  • God I hate this word.

    February 13, 2007

  • Certainly much misused and maligned in corporate and technology circles, ‘community’ remains an extremely critical word in work for constructive social change.

    The destruction of meaningful community in “western�? societies is a key component of the social and environmental problems in the world today. The dissociation that is enmeshed in virtually all aspects of the “modern�? industrial/post-industrial society is at the root of our social ailments—which we cannot truly hope to overcome without finding ways to bring people together to form viable, ongoing and sustainable interconnections.

    February 22, 2007

  • "A community is a group of people who form relationships over time by interacting regularly around shared experiences, which are of interest to all of them for varying individual reasons." -- Jake McGee, 2005/02/28 (Source)

    January 8, 2008

  • I've never liked this word. Everyone seems to want to put me in some community or other. Politicians, marketers. It's really an emasculated word in my opinion.

    January 8, 2008

  • I agree, yarb. Check out uselessness' A Collectivist Utopia list (if you haven't already). :-)

    January 8, 2008

  • 'Judge Learned Hand, one of Simon Flexner's closest friends, later observed, "That community is already in the process of dissolution where each man begins to eye his neighbor as a possible enemy, where nonconformity with the accepted creed, political as well as religious, becomes a mark of disaffection; where denunciation, without specification or backing, takes the place of evidence; where orthodoxy chokes freedom of dissent."'

    —John M. Barry, The Great Influenza (NY: Penguin Books, 2004), 125

    February 14, 2009

  • Question for the Management or the Community at Large....

    I know I can add a word as a favorite; can I or will I later be able to add a fellow member's list as a favorite? If so, how ?

    February 21, 2012

  • Takchess, when you go to one of your favorite lists, there should be an option at the top which says "love." Click on that to "favorite" the list. If that isn't available or doesn't work, we can go to the feedback thingee and ask there.

    February 21, 2012

  • @chained_bear Great quote! Judge Learned Hand, aside from having one of the best names ever, has some great quotes.

    February 25, 2012

  • Happy holidays, everybody!

    December 24, 2014

  • What a clever idea ruzuzu has had! May your holidays of choice be merry ones.

    December 24, 2014

  • Dear Wordniks my aim is to woo you
    To visit "community" if you choose to.
    Let not this hiatus
    Depress or abate us,
    Let's flock to the beckoning ruzuzu.

    December 25, 2014

  • I'm so glad y'all are here ... a quick update. Moving the servers (as part of our push to be a separate, not-for-profit) has broken a couple of things, including email notifications and the Community page, and the deploy process. :-(

    So we're working to get the deploy process fixed so that we can fix the other things. Please don't hesitate to email me if you find anything else we should know about it.

    Moving the servers has felt like nothing so much as pulling an old house off its foundations and trucking it down the street, and then trying to reconnect it all on the new site. (And then finding out the previous foundation used different gauges of pipe for everything.)


    December 26, 2014

  • Thank you for the update, Erin. And thanks for the encouragement, qms!

    December 26, 2014

  • I'm glad to see that you're all still alive! (I found my way here by googling "502 Bad Gateway" and then following ruzuzu.)

    December 28, 2014

  • That's fantastic, deinonychus! It feels like I put a message in a bottle and just received one in return. Where else should we leave tags and comments? I'll note that over on bilby's page, madmouth was suggesting that we could meet up on the word of the day.

    December 29, 2014

  • I'm very disappointed that ruzuzu, as Wordnik Safety Warden, didn't marshall us to emergency assembly point.

    December 30, 2014

  • Brackets around "Wordnik Safety Warden," please.

    December 30, 2014

  • I'm not sure we need brackets when Wordnik Safety Warden is written on your helmet in extremely sensible lettering.

    December 30, 2014

  • But I presume you're asking for the purpose of public order. So.

    December 30, 2014