Meaning of communism in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkɒmjʊnɪz(ə)m/

See synonyms for communism

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mass noun
  • A theory or system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs.

    See also Marxism

    ‘In Eastern Europe it was abolished with the fall of communism and adoption of democracy.’
    • ‘You don't seem to know the difference between capitalism, communism and socialism.’
    • ‘Men dominated the occupational system during communism, and this has not changed.’
    • ‘The chief cause of the end of the cold war was the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.’
    • ‘Under socialism or communism, producers of profit and receivers of profit are the same people.’
    • ‘First, it has to be remembered that the collapse of communism came quickly and was not anticipated.’
    • ‘True communism has no government and people own and operate everything communally.’
    • ‘Capitalism and communism diminish the status of the individual, both as a citizen and as a human being.’
    • ‘One of the themes of her book is China's change from old communism to new capitalism.’
    • ‘These led to the dismantling and collapse of communism throughout Eastern and Central Europe.’
    • ‘The Poles' victory at Warsaw was seen at the time as the salvation of European democracy in the face of communism.’
    • ‘Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union until the collapse of communism a decade ago.’
    • ‘One might expect that Marx would go on to explain in some detail what communism would be like.’
    • ‘Without him, it might not have been feasible to negotiate the transition from communism to democracy.’
    • ‘Yesterday's is the fifth fully free parliamentary election since the transition from communism to multiparty democracy in 1989.’
    • ‘I returned to Japan in 1948, and I found the red flags of communism everywhere.’
    collectivism, state ownership, socialism, radical socialism
    View synonyms

The most familiar form of communism is that established by the Bolsheviks after the Russian Revolution of 1917, and it has generally been understood in terms of the system practised by the former Soviet Union and its allies in eastern Europe, in China since 1949, and in some developing countries such as Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea. In this form of communism it was held that the state would wither away after the overthrow of the capitalist system. In practice, however, the state grew to control all aspects of communist society. Communism in eastern Europe collapsed in the late 1980s and early 1990s against a background of failure to meet people's economic expectations, a shift to more democracy in political life, and increasing nationalism such as that which led to the break-up of the Soviet Union


Mid 19th century from French communisme, from commun (see common).