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The concept of friendship and companionship is multifaceted enough to comprise countless descriptive terms. Each one corresponds to a different kind, context, or mode of relationship.

One on the slightly more formal side is comradery, often spelled camaraderie. It frequently denotes people who are united in a certain cause or interest, sometimes political or social, and suggests their regular collaboration to further that interest.

Let’s take a closer look at comradery vs. camaraderie.

Classical origins

The most widely recognized spelling—and the first—is camaraderie, which first appeared in the mid-19th century and derived from a root in late Latin. The word camera, or chamber/room, has survived into modern Romance languages like Italian, and this spelling suggests ties to French.

The idea of camaraderie was to denote a group of people who met in a room and enjoyed one another’s company, sometimes also discussing art or intellectual pursuits.

Anglo-Saxon variation

Nearly half a century later appeared, the alternate spelling comradery, means the same thing and retains the same pronunciation. However, it took a different linguistic route. The word comrade, a friend or companion in an organization, was suffixed with -ry in the style of such words as citizenry. English, with its Germanic and Anglo-Saxon lineage, accepted this spelling, although it is mostly confined to North America.

So, comradery or camaraderie? Either works — it really depends on where you live and which spelling makes more sense in your context.

Examples:

Our book club has a great atmosphere of camaraderie.
The activists attended town halls and held meetings to make posters and foster comradery.
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