1841, as both a noun and adjective, from French communiste (see communism). First attested in writing by John Goodwin Barmby (1820-1881), British Owenite and utopian socialist who founded the London Communist Propaganda Society in 1841. Main modern sense emerged after publication of Communist Manifesto ("Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei") in 1848. Shortened form Commie attested from 1940. Related: Communistic.