The Meaning of Communist: What It Is and How To Use It

The word communist has many connotations. But what does this political ideology actually stand for? This article covers the real meaning of communist.

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There are numerous political philosophies and ideologies globally, and communism is one of them. What does this political and economic system stand for, and how has it been implemented in history? This article will tell you all about the meaning of communism, examples of communism, and more.

What Does the Word Communist Mean?

According to Britannica, a communist is a person who identifies with the political ideology of communism. This political and economic beliefs system advocates for public ownership, a lack of private property, a profit-based economy, and communal control of means of production. The word communism comes from the French communisme and Latin communis.

Communism is an advanced form of socialism. In the Communist party, they advocate for an economic system and political system revolving around shared ownership. The Communist system is the opposite of a capitalist system, where there is private ownership of the means of production.

People believe that Communist leaders and Communist regimes can decrease strife between social classes because it eliminates working classes since everyone advocates for the common good. Therefore, the working class and class struggles would cease to exist in this one-party social system. However, this is not necessarily the case in practice.

Communism in History

Modern communism was founded on Marxist theory. After the Industrial Revolution, Karl Marx saw the increasing split between the working class and the upper class in the 18th and 19th centuries. In Critique of the Gotha Programme, Marx advocated for the lack of class divisions. 

Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Lenin were followers of Marxism and The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Friedrich Engels. In 1918, Lenin’s Bolshevik wing of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party implemented Communist ideologies after seizing power under the All-Russian Communist Party. 

Communism is heavily associated with the Soviet Union/USSR in Eastern Europe and the People’s Republic of China after World War II. Other countries that have been associated with this form of government and a communist society include Russia, Laos, Vietnam, North Korea, and Cuba.

While modern communism is associated with Karl Marx, the term communist has been used since the 4th century BCE. Plato describes his ideal society as a communist society in which people do things to serve the interest of the greater good. Also, he asserted in Plato’s Republic that private ownership encouraged selfishness and advocated for public ownership. 

Throughout history, there have been many representations of communist societies as utopia. Sir Thomas More, an English humanist, advocated for monastic communism in Utopia. Tommaso Campanella, an Italian philosopher, also advocated for communist ideals in his functional work City of the Sun. Communism has been both condemned and praised throughout history.

What Are Translations of Communist?

Communist is the English word for this particular system of government and political beliefs. However, the word communist has different translations in numerous languages. 

Therefore, if you are having a political discussion with a person who does not speak English, you can use the below list of translations of communism from Nice Translator to help you communicate:

  • Hindi: कम्युनिस्ट
  • Hebrew: קוֹמוּנִיסט
  • Amharic: ኮሚኒስት
  • Russian: коммунистический
  • Vietnamese: Cộng sản
  • Korean: 공산주의자
  • French: communiste
  • Croatian: komunist
  • Telugu: కమ్యూనిస్ట్
  • Welsh: chomiwnyddol
  • Hungarian: kommunista
  • Estonian: kommunistlik
  • Basque: komunista
  • Thai: คอมมิวนิสต์
  • Romanian: comunist
  • Bulgarian: комунистически
  • Chinese (PRC): 共产
  • Portuguese (Portugal): comunista
  • Malayalam: കമ്മൂണിസ്റ്റ്
  • Swahili: Kikomunisti
  • Spanish: comunista
  • Danish: kommunist
  • Czech: komunistický
  • Bengali: কমিউনিস্ট
  • Marathi: कम्युनिस्ट
  • Slovak: komunista
  • Ukrainian: комуніст
  • Polish: komunistyczny
  • Tamil: கம்யூனிஸ்ட்
  • Latvian: komunists
  • Kannada: ಕಮ್ಯುನಿಸ್ಟ್
  • Slovenian: Komunist.
  • Norwegian: kommunistisk
  • Lithuanian: komunistas
  • Portuguese (Brazil): comunista
  • Finnish: kommunisti
  • Serbian: комуниста
  • Catalan: comunista
  • Italian: comunista
  • Swedish: kommunist
  • Icelandic: kommúnista
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 共產
  • Malay: komunis
  • Filipino: Komunista
  • Indonesian: Komunis
  • German: kommunistisch
  • Japanese: 共産主義者
  • Urdu: کمونیست
  • Gujarati: સામ્યવાદી
  • Arabic: الشيوعي
  • Turkish: komünist
  • Dutch: communistisch
  • Greek: κομμουνιστικός

What Are Synonyms of the Word Communist?

Many words have a similar meaning to the word communist. While the word communist is largely neutral, it can have negative connotations in certain circumstances.

The below list of synonyms of the word communist from Power Thesaurus also contains words that have positive connotations, negative connotations, and neutral connotations so you can choose the one that’s right for you:

  • anarchist
  • anarcho-syndicalist
  • apparatchik
  • Bolshevik
  • Bolshevist
  • bonnet rouge
  • castroite
  • collective
  • collectivist
  • com-symp
  • commie
  • commies
  • communal
  • communalist
  • communism
  • communistic
  • communists
  • comrade
  • egalitarian
  • fellow traveler
  • ideology
  • intolerant
  • laborite
  • left
  • left-leaning
  • left-of-center
  • left-wing
  • left-winger
  • leftist
  • lefty
  • Leninist
  • liberal
  • Maoist
  • Marxist
  • one-party
  • public
  • radical
  • radical socialist
  • red
  • revolutionary
  • social democrat
  • social-democratic
  • socialist
  • socialistic
  • soviet
  • Stalinist
  • sympathizer
  • syndicalist
  • totalistic
  • Trotskyist
  • Trotskyite

What Are Antonyms of the Word Communist?

Many words are opposites of communist. For example, the opposite of someone who believes in communism is someone who believes in capitalism and the free market. 

All of the below antonyms of the word communist from Power Thesaurus relate to people who believe in capitalism. How many of these words do you know?

  • backer
  • banker
  • baron
  • billionaire
  • bourgeois
  • businessman
  • businesspeople
  • businessperson
  • businesswoman
  • capitalism
  • capitalist
  • capitalistic
  • captain of industry
  • career person
  • dives
  • elitist
  • entrepreneur
  • exceptionalism
  • executive
  • factory owner
  • fat cat
  • financier
  • franchiser
  • free-enterprise
  • gray flannel suit
  • individualistic
  • industrialist
  • inegalitarian
  • investor
  • landowner
  • magnate
  • manager
  • millionaire
  • mogul
  • moneybags
  • moneyman
  • multimillionaire
  • organization person
  • plutocrat
  • private-enterprise
  • rich man
  • rich person
  • snob
  • stockbroker
  • tycoon
  • working woman


The definition of communism is a political party that advocates for a classless society and an economic theory in contrast to capitalism. Someone who believes in the political system of communism is known as a communist. However, the term communist can have negative connotations depending on its usage because of its storied history. 

How do you feel about communism and communists?


  1. Communist synonyms – 194 Words and Phrases for Communist | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Capitalist synonyms – 400 Words and Phrases for Capitalist | Power Thesaurus
  3. communism | Definition, History, Varieties, & Facts | Britannica  
  4. Communist | Nice Translator