Do your friends inspire you to set goals? Do they support you as you try to reach them? Do they lovingly challenge you when you are wrong? If so, you have found good friends indeed. How do you refer to these friends? Do you think of the one closest to you as your best friend? Who is your buddy? Do you have a pal? Some people use the term comrade in reference to their friends. But what exactly is comradery? How is it different from camaraderie?

Once upon a time in French, camarade referred to a roommate. English adopted (and adapted) this word to form comrade and camaraderie. Later, the alternate spelling comradery also appeared. Comradery is a much rarer spelling, but it means the same thing as camaraderie; in fact, many dictionaries use the terms to define each other. Synonyms include comity, cordiality, goodwill, and neighborliness.

A comrade is a close friend with whom you feel a spirit of friendship; but the word also has a unique connotation for the military. A comrade is a fellow soldier. As you can imagine, it would be especially important for soldiers to feel a sense of trust and good fellowship within their community. The Communist Party also used the term to refer to its members.

Sometimes you can understand something better by considering what it is not. What are the antonyms of comradery? They are cold words—hostility, hatred, aloofness, incompatibility. Could anyone have a close, trusting relationship if they harbored these feelings? Notice how the following quotes demonstrate the warmth and togetherness associated with comradery:

“The comradery of all the people that come is great, we always have so much community support,” she said. ―“ColorRun changes name, race length,” Fremont Tribune

According to Fox 5, the boys had chance encounters with firefighters that grew to comradery. Dukes’ father, Josh Dukes, is a firefighter in Hawaii. ―“2 Boys Fighting Cancer Named Honorary FDNY Firefighters,”

“I fell in love with the sport right away,” Alecxih said. “There was such a comradery with nine guys working together to achieve something great.” ―“Dream Chaser,”

So far, Daly’s greatest satisfaction comes from comradery. “The guys are great,” he said. “It’s good to see my old buddies again and hang out with them. They’ll actually talk to you when you’re playing with them on the golf course, which is nice.” ―“Daly paying his dues as PGA Tour Champions rookie,” Des Moines Register

Let’s revisit how you speak of your friends. Are they chums with whom you love to socialize? Bosom buddies to whom you tell all your secrets? Have you been through a lot of good and bad experiences together? If you feel a particular familiarity and bond, you have found true comradery.

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