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What Is Comradery?


  • Comradery means, the spirit of friendship and community between either two people or a group of people.
  • Camaraderie is a more popular spelling, but comradery is an acceptable alternative.

Comradery is something that’s easy to find among the members of a winning team. Victorious teammates may high-five one another and relay game highlights. Success will create a bond for the players that usually continues off of the court. But what’s happening on the other side of the court? You might notice that the defeated team is going through a comradery ritual of their own. Rather than celebrating, they may be consoling each other and commending one another for doing their best. What is comradery?

Is It Camaraderie or Comradery?

You may be already wondering whether comradery is the same as camaraderie, so let’s address that issue first. Camaraderie came to English from the French around 1835. In French, camarade is the word for a roommate or a companion. If you trace camarade back further, you will find that the French had gotten it from Old Spanish, who borrowed it from Latin! Camera is a Latin term for chamber, a room that you sleep or spend a lot of time in. And what about comradery? That came from comrade, a derivative of the the same Middle French word that inspired camaraderie. Around 1879, some writers (undoubtedly influenced by the pattern established by terms like citizenry) began adding the suffix -ry to comrade to form comradery.

The next question is, which one is correct? Camaraderie or comradery? Is one way of spelling the word more accurate than the other? Dictionaries list both spellings, meaning they are both right. However, if you look at how frequently each word is used, you will find that camaraderie is more than forty times as typical as comradery in print sources. The form you choose depends on your preference, but you should take your audience into account. Ask yourself which spelling will be the most familiar or understandable for them?

Be wary of misspellings. It is easy to confuse the two spellings if you’re not careful. The most common incorrect spellings on the web are miss matches of the two correct spellings:

INCORRECT        comaraderie, comraderie, comrodery, cameradery

Proper Pronunciation

Camaraderie  sounds like kahm-rah-duh-ree. Some speakers pronounce comradery as kom-rad-ree. Therefore, even though camaraderie and comradery are interchangeable in meaning, transcriptionists need to write the version that is used by the speaker. They should listen carefully to the vowels and the number of syllables to tell comradery apart from camaraderie.

What Does Comradery Mean?

There is no difference in the meaning of camaraderie and comradery. Comradery is the spirit of friendship and community between two people or a group of people. The members of said group are comfortable around each other, support each other, and like each other. The word is most often applied to sports teams or to groups of soldiers. Now let’s learn from some quotes about team comradery.

Instances of Comradery

Below are some examples of the word in use:

I liked the energy of cooking, the action, the camaraderie. I often compare the kitchen to sports and compare the chef to a coach. There are a lot of similarities to it.Todd English

If I miss anything about the sport, it’s the camaraderie of old teammates.Bo Jackson

I had been a kid that moved so much, I didn’t have a lot of friends. Theater really represented that kind of camaraderie.Francis Ford Coppola

The hardest thing to walk away from, over a long-form TV show, is the comradery of the company, both with the crew and the group of actors.Joshua Jackson


The Political Definition and Usage of Comradery

As you learned earlier, comradery is derived from comrade. A comrade is a fellow group member, an associate, or a person who participates in the same activities as you. However, some time in the nineteenth century, members of the Communist party started referring to one another as comrades. As stated by an article in the South China Morning Post, “consolidation among party members and . . . the idea of equality” were the elements of the word that grabbed the attention of the Communist Party. Nowadays, comrade can carry a political connotation—in particular, it could infer that someone has extreme leftist views on certain issues. Although, the same connotation doesn’t necessarily carry over to the use of comradery, unless the context implies a political tie or affiliation. 

Using Comradery

Now that you have seen some examples of the word being used, how would you use comradery in a sentence? Comradery is a noun, meaning it can be either a subject or an object of a sentence.

Example        Comradery is what kept the coworkers on civil terms during a difficult work assignment.

Example        Servicemen who have fought together against a common enemy form a comradery like no other feeling in the world.

What about making the noun plural? Comradery and camaraderie are non-count nouns, so you cannot make them plural by adding an S. They do not have plural forms.

Example        After twelve years of marriage, there was great comradery among husband and wife.

Example        A little camaraderie will go a long way.

Synonyms of Camaraderie/Comradery 

What other words are like comradery? Studying them will help you get a deeper understanding of what it means. Notice how these near-synonyms relate to comradery:

  • Friendship is an intimate or friendly relationship.
  • Companionship is fellowship, notably the type of fellowship that comes from being in the company of someone else.
  • Togetherness is a warm fellowship.
  • Bonhomie, like camaraderie, has French origins. Bon means good and Homme means man. Bonhomie is a good-natured, friendly manner.
  • Intimacy is a very close bond with another person, generally accompanied by feelings of affection and familiarity.
  • A brotherhood is a group of people involved in the same trade or with the same qualities or interests. It also refers to fellowship.
  • Conviviality is friendliness or agreeableness.
  • Comradeship is the sense of friendship with others who share similar goals.

Antonyms of Camaraderie/Comradery 

On the other hand, antonyms show you what comradery is not. The list includes some pretty negative words that should help you appreciate the positivity of comradery. Here are the top five opposites.

  • Dislike is the feeling of antagonism and hatred for someone.
  • Bad blood is an idiomatic expression that implies that there are bitter feelings between two people or groups.
  • Lonesomeness is the painful feeling of solitariness, depression, or sadness induced from a lack of companionship.
  • Loneliness is the feeling of solitude and isolation.
  • Forlornness is the feeling of isolation and alienation.

Comradery versus Morale

Another term you hear associated with groups, teams, or the military is morale. What’s the relationship between comradery and morale? Morale is a general emotion or mental state of members of a group. A low morale would point to the individuals in the group having low spirits. They may feel discouraged or depressed. A Higher morale indicates that individuals feel well and happy. If comradery is missing, morale is likely to be lower. Blogger Travis Valentine explains: “Low morale isn’t ideal, but the negative effects it has can be overcome with camaraderie because good camaraderie can’t be beaten.” Do you see how they’re related?

For sports teams, a sense of comradery and morale is at its highest when celebrating a win. However, a defeat can also draw a group closer together. Because soldiers spend lots of time in each other’s company and go through often intense experiences together, they will often develop lifelong friendships represented by goodwill and friendliness. Any group spending a lot of time pursuing a collective goal can cultivate the quality of comradery.

Comradery is the alternate spelling of camaraderie that carries the exact meaning of friendly intimacy among group members. To use the term correctly, you’ll need to remember that it’s a non-count noun. Learning so much about comradery puts you among a select few who know its origins. So if you see comradery used correctly in writing, you may feel an instant bond with the author! 

Related: Here is your next interested word/expression – “What is a Faux Pas?”


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By Connie Fisher

Connie Fisher is a freelance writer and editor specializing in business writing and marketing. She holds a bachelor's degree in media and journalism and has contributed to a slew of printed and online media, including Contra Costa Times, Daily American, the The Tri-Town News,, and many more.

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