The meaning of comradery and camaraderie

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.

Cecilia Gigliotti
Cecilia Gigliotti

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 derives 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, meaning the same thing and retaining 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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Cecilia Gigliotti

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Cecilia Gigliotti

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