1520s, "to impart (information, etc.); to give or transmit (a quality, feeling, etc.) to another," from Latin communicatus, past participle of communicare "to share, communicate, impart, inform," literally "to make common," related to communis "common, public, general" (see common (adj.)). Meaning "to share, transmit" (diseases, etc.) is from 1530s. Intransitive sense, of rooms, etc., "to open into each other" is from 1731. Related: Communicated; communicating.