Definition of communal in English:



  • 1Shared by all members of a community; for common use.

    ‘a communal bathroom and kitchen’
    • ‘There is no cooking on the premises and the bathroom is communal.’
    • ‘Two people shared a room and the entire floor shared a communal bathroom and shower room.’
    • ‘There was a communal kitchen, but all the cupboards were bare.’
    • ‘There was a communal bathroom down the hall and a kitchen on the first floor, not that anyone used it much.’
    • ‘The master bedroom sits to the rear and overlooks the communal garden, as do the bathroom and dining/kitchen.’
    • ‘A door leads from the kitchen area into a communal corridor, while a staircase leads down to the sleeping accommodation.’
    • ‘A communal shower and bathroom served at least sixteen people.’
    • ‘A few minutes later, I walked down the hall to look at the communal bathroom and showers.’
    • ‘There are a number of 3, 4 and 5 bedrooms apartments available with a communal kitchen, which are ideal for a group of friends.’
    • ‘If the claim is in respect of defects in the common parts or communal areas of a block of flats, the claim must be made by the Management Company or in Scotland, the Factor.’
    • ‘It will create two more rooms for patients - to add to the four already in operation - two rooms for relatives, plus a communal kitchen and lounge area.’
    • ‘Water is then carried through the common parts in the communal pipework and into individual flats.’
    • ‘The wart viral infection is a common occurrence in communal bathing, spa or health club facilities.’
    • ‘The family had to share communal facilities with neighbours and arguments were common.’
    • ‘And the food service workers who scoured the commercial kitchens improvising communal meals for hundreds of those stranded.’
    • ‘She rattled some cups about the communal kitchen instead and stuck the kettle on to boil.’
    • ‘Residents would share the use of communal facilities.’
    • ‘The communal kitchen will cater for patients in the hospice.’
    • ‘Most cooking is done in communal kitchens in the neighbourhood and purchased from street stalls that heave under bags of fruit and vegetables of all kinds.’
    • ‘When I was a teenager at boarding school, we had communal showers and bathrooms.’
    shared, joint, common, general, public
    collective, cooperative, community, communalist, united, combined, pooled, mass
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    1. 1.1Involving the sharing of work and property.
      ‘communal living’
      • ‘I have found actual communal living to be a very positive experience and very good for my faith.’
      • ‘Cape Verdeans have a communal attitude towards property and freely borrow and lend possessions.’
      • ‘We live in houses, because we decided that communal living isn't exactly what we want to be engaged in.’
      • ‘This level of sharing is aimed at reinforcing the lessons of communal living.’
      • ‘They may have been part of a pre-Christian religious ritual or they may have been communal property in which corn or oats was pounded or ground.’
      • ‘In the much less densely populated northeastern region, a form of communal property ownership and communal farming survived into the twentieth century.’
      • ‘In the Faroes and St Kilda, the nesting grounds were communal property, so everyone had a stake in leaving enough birds to breed for next year.’
      • ‘In the past land was communal property that could not be sold or inherited.’
      • ‘They were founded on the noble ideal of shared communal living, which required active participation from all of them.’
      • ‘It was almost as though a child were communal property, raised by all.’
      • ‘He refers to communal work where members of the extended family and neighbours assist the family with its work.’
      • ‘They resolved problems through negotiations and added new perspectives to the dynamics of communal living.’
      • ‘I mean, they're doing remarkably well this year and, in the spirit of communal living, allowing me to harvest their crop was the right thing to do.’
      • ‘A political ideology which aims for an ideal society characterized by common ownership and communal life.’
      • ‘Mrs Silk stressed the point that it was an aim of theirs to promote and encourage integrated communal living and shared responsibility wherever possible.’
      • ‘This stabilized the ownership of communal property, which in the late eighteenth century made up about 10 per cent of all land in northern France.’
      • ‘Much of a council's work is implemented by a communal board composed of members appointed to reflect the council's political party composition.’
      • ‘Mr Buttery is unmarried, and has always enjoyed communal living, he says.’
      • ‘But they share a commitment to communal living, group and individual therapy, and shared domestic and leisure activities.’
      • ‘They shared all property and led a communal existence.’
    2. 1.2Relating to or done by a community.
      ‘communal pride in impressive local buildings’
      • ‘It is clear that there is a network of belongingness, of social, communal relationships and of a set of identities that are important to us.’
      • ‘This collection represents a communal plea for peace from those who have had little of it in their lives.’
      • ‘They strengthened and gave us pride in our communal bonds.’
      • ‘I like the communal, collaborative aspect of this.’
      • ‘In this spirit, members emphasize communal sharing, as in sharing food, giving gifts, and doing favors.’
      • ‘Their positive common memory strengthens their communal resolve, and they begin to pray for Sethe.’
      • ‘A town is measured by its collective and communal intellect.’
      • ‘Another role of the bard was as the repository and interpreter of the history of the people, a vital social function that maintained communal solidarity.’
      • ‘In a heroic society, the communal aspect of the feasting was an appropriate means of rewarding the prowess of the individual warriors.’
      • ‘Underpinning the project's strong social and communal dimension is a measure of environmentally aware design.’
      • ‘They, for many years, have been working for social, political and communal harmony on national level.’
      • ‘It has planned a programme of district level meetings to mobilise public opinion in favour of democracy, communal harmony and peace.’
      • ‘All songs were film-based, focussing mainly on themes such as patriotism, communal harmony and social good.’
      • ‘The common man is not much concerned about communal issues.’
      • ‘But this is a communal achievement, one that shows us a side of Belfast we never normally see.’
      • ‘Members of the O'Kelly family and people who shared his communal commitment will be present on Saturday.’
      • ‘The utopian society is a communal one, where all people are genuine equals.’
      • ‘Edith spent the next eight years teaching at a Dominican school for girls, where she enjoyed sharing the sisters' communal life.’
      • ‘These people understand the value of collective work and the communal aspects of public communications.’
      • ‘According to the rules which provided for communal representation by separate electorates.’
      mass, general, collective, social, societal, collaborative, group, civil, public, civic
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  • 2(of conflict) between different communities, especially those having different religions or ethnic origins.

    ‘violent communal riots’
    • ‘In East Belfast, as you mentioned, that has been an area which for many, many years has suffered under communal conflict.’
    • ‘Very often the officers blame lower ranks of the force for their inability to control communal conflict effectively.’
    • ‘But the Pakistani president is no more able than his predecessors to solve the country's underlying ethnic and communal tensions.’
    • ‘Fifty-five years of rule under the national bourgeoisie has created a cauldron of ethnic and communal strife, poverty and illiteracy.’
    • ‘The constituting of enquiry commissions has become a common feature after each communal flare-up.’
    • ‘Angry, powerless people turned to communal social violence when they felt there was no legal recourse available to them.’
    • ‘The communal clashes have erupted sporadically since January 1998, claiming 28 lives.’
    • ‘He argued that the attacks were not religiously motivated but designed to destabilize the country by creating communal conflicts.’
    • ‘Plus, such deadlines can encourage massive communal violence.’
    • ‘As the protest movement waned, the military deliberately fomented communal conflict as a means of reasserting its authority.’
    • ‘Thirty-seven years later, in 1986, Hindus were permitted to worship there once again, sparking off nation-wide communal clashes.’
    • ‘In total, nearly 7,000 people have died in communal conflicts since 1999.’
    • ‘Contained in the impasse over the formation of a new government are the seeds of a descent into communal conflict and civil war.’
    • ‘Only two weeks ago, a communal conflict broke out killing five people and injuring a dozen others.’
    • ‘This event was preceded by a period of communal strife, brought under control with assistance from British troops.’
    • ‘Separate communal clashes on Friday and Saturday in the towns left several people injured and dozens of houses and ships damaged.’
    • ‘But in 1714, when communal riots broke out, they also acquired a religious identity.’
    • ‘You certainly can't say this was communal conflict among naturally violent people.’
    • ‘This is especially true where human suffering is caused by communal conflict.’
    • ‘Intelligence failure is very common phenomenon in any major communal violence.’


Early 19th century (in the sense ‘relating to a commune, especially the Paris Commune’): from French, from late Latin communalis, from communis (see common).