What Does “Comradery” Mean? Definition and Examples



Movies set during the Cold War are rife with references to “comrades”, while in contemporary times we will more often hear of “comradery” among sports teams. With its origins tracing back to Latin through Middle French, the word comradery certainly has a colorful etymology and meaning.


"Comradery" is a feeling of closeness and friendship between two people or a group of people who spend a lot of time together.
It is a North American variation of "camaraderie", which is the more accepted spelling of the word.

What is “comradery”? Definition and origin


When we think of comradery, we should get a feeling of friendliness and closeness between several people.


The word originates from the Middle French camarade, which was used to mean “roommate” or a “group sleeping in one room”. Its etymology traces back to the Latin word for “chamber”, camera.


The spirit of comradery stems from a shared experience—from sleeping in the same room to facing together a difficult or adversarial situation, like a battle or a sports competition. This is why you’ll frequently find the words comradery and comrade used among soldiers, athletes or work colleagues.


Examples of “comradery” used in a sentence


A definition is only the beginning of understanding a word. A truer appreciation comes from examples of people who use it in a personal sense:

  • In a U.S. Army article by Lesley Atkinson, Lt. Col. (P) Tameka Bowser is quoted as saying: “I was offered an Army Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship as a high school senior and decided to give military life a try. It was quite a challenge mentally and physically, but I truly enjoyed the sense of accomplishment and comradery.”

  • That same sense of comradery is widely experienced in sport, as reported in the UK newspaper, The Guardian: “As an excellent new book based on the first-hand experiences of former Wales players makes clear, champion rugby teams are built as much on camaraderie and self-belief under pressure as on fat tests and mineral water.”

  • In an article on peer support groups from MobileHealthNews.com, the focus is on a mother dealing with her child’s illness: “She said that online support groups have helped her form comradery with other parents caring for children with rare liver diseases. Specifically, she remembers being able to share day-to-day upsets.”


Is it “comradery” or “camaraderie”?


Both words mean the exact same thing. The spelling comradery is simply a modern, North American version of camaraderie. According to all dictionaries, both variations are correct. Still, camaraderie is considered to be the more common spelling. For some data to support this, you need to look no further than this Google Books Ngram Viewer to compare usage of the two versions since 1800.



How to use “comradery” in a sentence?


Any word with more than one acceptable spelling can lead to ‘mash-ups’ of the correct versions. In this case, you can be forgiven for thinking comaraderie or camradery are the real deal. So keep a close eye on the spelling!


Also, as with all writing, you don’t want to overuse comradery (or camaraderie), so why not consider a few synonyms to get your meaning across? These include brotherhood, companionship, community and fellowship.


Cormac Curtis, Knowledge Base Writer at Wix

Escaped from a lifetime working in the Irish media. Now I enjoy (in order of importance) my motorbike, family life, reading fiction and history… and writing for Wix!




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