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[kuh-myoo-ni-tee] /kəˈmyu nɪ ti/
noun, plural communities.
a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.
a locality inhabited by such a group.
a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists (usually preceded by the):
the business community; the community of scholars.
a group of associated nations sharing common interests or a common heritage:
the community of Western Europe.
Ecclesiastical. a group of men or women leading a common life according to a rule.
Ecology. an assemblage of interacting populations occupying a given area.
joint possession, enjoyment, liability, etc.:
community of property.
similar character; agreement; identity:
community of interests.
the community, the public; society:
the needs of the community.
Origin of community
1325-75; < Latin commūnitās, equivalent to commūni(s) common + -tās -ty2; replacing Middle English comunete < Middle French < Latin as above
Related forms
communital, adjective
procommunity, adjective
8. similarity, likeness.
Synonym Study
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for community


noun (pl) -ties
  1. the people living in one locality
  2. the locality in which they live
  3. (as modifier): community spirit
a group of people having cultural, religious, ethnic, or other characteristics in common: the Protestant community
a group of nations having certain interests in common
the public in general; society
common ownership or participation
similarity or agreement: community of interests
(in Wales since 1974 and Scotland since 1975) the smallest unit of local government; a subdivision of a district
(ecology) a group of interdependent plants and animals inhabiting the same region and interacting with each other through food and other relationships
Word Origin
C14: from Latin commūnitās, from commūniscommon
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 community

late 14c., from Old French comunité "community, commonness, everybody" (Modern French communauté), from Latin communitatem (nominative communitas) "community, society, fellowship, friendly intercourse; courtesy, condescension, affability," from communis "common, public, general, shared by all or many," (see common (adj.)). Latin communitatem "was merely a noun of quality ... meaning 'fellowship, community of relations or feelings,' but in med.L. it was, like universitas, used concretely in the sense of 'a body of fellows or fellow-townsmen' " [OED].

An Old English word for "community" was gemænscipe "community, fellowship, union, common ownership," from mæne "common, public, general," probably composed from the same PIE roots as communis. Community service as a criminal sentence is recorded from 1972, American English. Community college is recorded from 1959.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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community in Science
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 © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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