Definition of phalanstery in English:



  • A group of people living together in a community and holding property in common.

    • ‘For them, architecture, not symbolic clothing, was central to planning the ideal community, which they called the ‘phalanstery’ (an amalgam of ‘phalanx’ and ‘monastery’).’
    • ‘The central part of the Palace or Phalanstery ought to be appropriated to peaceful uses, and contain the dining-halls, halls for finance, libraries, study, etc.’
    • ‘Fourier believed a radically egalitarian society could be organized into a confederation of communes or phalansteries.’


Mid 19th century: from French phalanstère (used by Charles Fourier in his socialist scheme for the reorganization of society), blend of Latin phalanx ‘band (of soldiers), group’ and French monastère ‘monastery’.