Grammar 6 min read

Comradery vs. Camaraderie: What's the Difference?

Main Takeaways:

  • Comradery is another way to spell camaraderie, but it’s often considered a misspelling.
  • Common misspellings include comraderie and camraderie.
  • Camaraderie (or comradery) is defined as “goodwill,” “friendship,” or “brotherhood” among people, especially those joined by a common objective.
  • Synonyms for camaraderie include “brothership,” “fellowship,” “community,” “solidarity,” and “esprit de corps.”
  • Both words share a common origin: the Middle French word camarade,” which refers to a roommate or companion.

If you’ve played team sports or taken a road trip with friends, you’ve probably experienced comradery. You may just want to reconsider spelling it that way. Read on to discover the meaning, history, and proper spelling of the word comradery.

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Comradery vs. Camaraderie: Definitions

Comradery and camaraderie are variations of the same word, although the former only appears in select dictionaries. They’re both defined as “goodwill,” “friendship,” or “brotherhood” among people, especially those joined by a common objective. The word is used as a noun.

Camaraderie is often used to describe members of the military or athletes involved in team sports. It also refers to people with a common cause, such as those engaged in protests or individuals who’ve gone through a shared trauma.
After the company sponsored a team-building retreat, its employees experienced a renewed sense of comradery.
The camaraderie of the soldiers made it more bearable for them to be away from their families for such a long time.
Comradery is another way to spell
Comradery is another way to spell “camaraderie.” However, comradery is not as popularly used as camaraderie, and many people view the former as a misspelling.

Different Spelling, Different Pronunciation

Spelling may not be the only thing that’s different between these two words. By some measures, they’re also pronounced differently.

While comradery is typically pronounced kaam·ra·duh-ree, camaraderie sounds like kaam-uh-ra-duh-ree. In camaraderie, the cam may also take the vowel sound off of camera rather than that of optical.

The notable difference between them, however, is that in camaraderie, there’s an uh sound after cam. In comradery, there isn’t.

Should I use Comradery or Camaraderie?

Whether to use comradery or camaraderie is open to debate. Some dictionaries, such as the Merriam-Webster, consider comradery an acceptable second spelling for camaraderie. More often, it’s believed to be nothing more than a misspelling. Because of that, it’s generally better to use camaraderie, which is universally accepted as a correct spelling.

What are the Synonyms for Comradery?

It’s easy to get tangled up in the spelling of camaraderie (or comradery, if you prefer). If you don’t like to memorize spellings, you might want to choose another word altogether. Synonyms and other words with similar meanings include “fellowship,” “companionship,” and “solidarity.”

Other synonyms include:

  • Brotherhood
  • Sisterhood
  • Friendship
  • Kinship
  • Community
  • Affinity
  • Esprit de corps
  • Togetherness
  • Team Spirit

Whether you elect to use a synonym or not, these similar words can help you better understand the meaning and spirit of camaraderie.

From Middle French to Modern English: Word Origins

Although the concept of camaraderie has been around as long as humans walked the earth, the word has a later origin. In fact, comradery and camaraderie both made their debut in the mid-1800s.

According to Merriam-Webster, the first documented use of the word comradery occurred in 1862. Camaraderie made a much earlier appearance, showing up as early as 1840.

Both words originate with the Middle French word camarade,” which means a companion or roommate. It’s worth noting that camarade originates with the Latin word camera,” which means chamber.

From Camarade to Comrade

Unsurprisingly, camarade translates to comrade in English. A comrade is a fellow member of a group or organization. It may refer to someone who engages in similar activities as another. It’s also the root of comradery.

The Addition of a Suffix

With the addition of the suffix -RY, comrade becomes comradery. For camaraderie, the suffix is -RIE. They both serve to form nouns and may denote a behavior, state, or condition.

Comradery/Camaraderie Mashups (Otherwise Known as Misspellings)

From Sharknado to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, we live in an age of mashups. In fact, common misspellings of camaraderie typically stem from mashups of its two most common spellings. This includes:

  • Comraderie
  • Camraderie
  • Comaraderie
  • Comrodery
  • Cameradery

The lesson to learn here is that pop culture and spelling are two very different things. You better leave mashups to the SYFY channel.

Cold War Connotations

When exploring the meaning and usage of camaraderie, it’s worth taking a look at the word comrade and its political connotations. For older U.S. residents, comrade often brings to mind communism, socialism, and the former Soviet Union.

Comrade was often used during the Cold War to address or refer to individuals who were suspected to be communist sympathizers. In fact, some dictionaries include “someone who belongs to the Communist party or a person with extreme leftist views in the comrade definition.

Adding Shades of Meaning

For some, this connotation may add shades of meaning to the word comradery, and not necessarily positive ones. Although this potentially negative association doesn’t generally spill over to comradery, it may enhance the argument for using the traditional spelling, camaraderie.

Camaraderie and Morale: Two Oft-Confused Words

With the spelling of camaraderie out of the way, there’s one more factor to look at. Is camaraderie the word you want, or would morale be a better choice?

It’s no surprise that these two words confuse people since they both tend to apply to teams and groups of people. So what’s the difference?

Camaraderie means goodwill or brothership among people of a group. Morale, on the other hand, refers to the mental or emotional state of a person or group.

The Relationship Between Camaraderie and Morale

Although you can see by their definitions that they aren’t identical in meaning, they have a relationship. If that sounds confusing, it doesn’t have to be.

Let’s look at it another way—by exploring the differences between these two words.

Differences Between Morale and Camaraderie

There are several main differences between these two often-confused words.

  • Camaraderie can play a part in morale. But high morale is not necessary to build camaraderie.
  • Morale can happen quickly as a result of a positive event. Camaraderie is based on the building of relationships and takes time.
  • Camaraderie refers to a positive state. Morale can be either positive or negative.
Morale was low after the boys lost the game, but camaraderie hit an all-time high as they nursed their wounds together.

In The Spirit of Camaraderie

No matter how you spell it, camaraderie‘s spirit is one of fellowship, community, and deep understanding. By adding this word and those similar to it to your vocabulary, you can embrace the camaraderie of wordsmiths everywhere.

Quick Comradery Grammar Quiz

Comradery Question #1

Which of these statements is/are correct?

Please select 2 correct answers

Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answers are B and D. Comradery and Camaraderie are variations of the same word. But comradery only appears in a few dictionaries.

Camaraderie Question #2

Comradery and Camaraderie have the same pronunciation.
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is FALSE. In camaraderie, there's an uh sound after cam. In comradery, there isn't.

Comradery Question #3

Select the correct spelling.
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is D. The misspellings come from a mash-up of the two most common spellings — comradery and camaraderie.

Camaraderie Question #4

Which word is NOT a synonym for camaraderie?
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is B. Morale refers to the mental or emotional state of a person or group. Meanwhile, camaraderie means goodwill among the people of a group.

Read More: Affect vs. Effect: Easily Choose the Correct Word

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Krista Grace Morris

Krista heads up Marketing and Content Creation here at INK. From Linguistics and History to puns and memes, she's interested in the systems we create to share our ideas with each other.

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