Communism Definition

Any theory or system characterized by the ownership or sharing of all property by the community as a whole.
Webster's New World
A system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people.
American Heritage
As envisioned by Marx, a future condition of mankind achieved after the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism and a transitional stage of socialism, and characterized by a largely self-regulating society whose members have renounced private property and personal wealth, national identity, social-class differences, etc.
Webster's New World
A political system that advances revolutionary principles for achieving this condition, either as formulated by Marx or as modified by Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, etc., characterized by a single ruling party, centralized economic planning, the curtailment of individual liberties, etc.
Webster's New World
The Marxist-Leninist doctrine advocating revolution to overthrow the capitalist system and establish a dictatorship of the proletariat that will eventually evolve into a perfectly egalitarian and communal society.
American Heritage

Other Word Forms of Communism



Origin of Communism

  • A calque of the German word Kommunismus (from Marx and Engels's Manifesto of the German Communist Party), in turn a calque of the French word communisme, which was formed from commun (“common”), from Latin communis, and the suffix -isme (“-ism”).

    From Wiktionary

  • French communisme from commun common from Old French from Latin commūnis commune2

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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