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[kuh-myoon-l, kom-yuh-nl] /kəˈmyun l, ˈkɒm yə nl/
used or shared in common by everyone in a group:
a communal jug of wine.
of, by, or belonging to the people of a community; shared or participated in by the public:
communal land; Building the playground was a communal project.
pertaining to a commune or a community:
communal life.
engaged in by or involving two or more communities:
communal conflict.
1805-15; < French < Latin commūnālis, equivalent to commūn(e) commune3 + -ālis -al1
Related forms
communally, adverb
intercommunal, adjective
noncommunal, adjective
noncommunally, adverb
uncommunal, adjective
2. public, common, collective. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for communal
  • Some college students are fortunate enough to have access to a communal kitchen space in their dorm.
  • So all property is communal and right in which the government has no power over property.
  • These bacteria aren't found in solitary bees, so they seem to be tied to communal living.
  • For large parties willing to try it, there's a communal feast of seven preparations of beef.
  • The tin served as a communal grave for all single buttons.
  • But in the cities this communal existence no longer holds.
  • The dining room features a large marble bar, long communal tables and more traditional two-tops against banquettes.
  • For my part, it would be useful to consider respect within the context of personal contact and personal and communal space.
  • Even the communal toilets remain nearly unscathed, the marble seats shiny from thousands of ancient buttocks.
  • But after five years, the town had provided no electricity and had turned down their application for a communal latrine.
British Dictionary definitions for communal


belonging or relating to a community as a whole
relating to different groups within a society: communal strife
of or relating to a commune or a religious community
Derived Forms
communality (ˌkɒmjʊˈnælɪtɪ) noun
communally, adverb
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 communal

1811 in reference to communes; 1843 in reference to communities, from French communal (Old French comunal, 12c.), from Late Latin communalis, from communa (see commune (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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