- (initial capital letter) a group of sovereign states and their dependencies associated by their own choice and linked with common objectives and interests: the British Commonwealth.
- the Commonwealth. Commonwealth of Nations.
- (initial capital letter) a federation of states: the Commonwealth of Australia.
- (initial capital letter) a self-governing territory associated with the U.S.: official designation of Puerto Rico.
- (initial capital letter) English History. the English government from the abolition of the monarchy in 1649 until the establishment of the Protectorate in 1653, sometimes extended to include the restoration of Charles II in 1660.
- (initial capital letter) the official designation (rather than “State”) of four states of the U.S.: Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
- any group of persons united by some common interest.
- the whole body of people of a nation or state; the body politic.
- a state in which the supreme power is held by the people; a republican or democratic state.
- Obsolete. the public welfare.
Origin of commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
- a voluntary association of independent nations and dependent territories linked by historical ties (as parts of the former British Empire) and cooperating on matters of mutual concern, especially regarding economics and trade.
Examples from the Web for commonwealth
Another bombshell: There is no statute of limitations on rape in the Commonwealth of Virginia.I Was Gang Raped at a UVA Frat 30 Years Ago, and No One Did Anything
December 16, 2014
Swarms of police, gunfire, panic—all foreign to a city known for its quaint, Commonwealth style, still air, and orderliness.Terrorist Ends Canada’s Innocence
October 22, 2014
For years there were no pre-qualifications for an attorney to handle capital cases in the commonwealth.Pennsylvania’s Lethal Injection Fiasco
September 18, 2014
His first novel, Red Earth and Pouring Rain (1995), won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for best first book.Vikram Chandra Is A Novelist Who's Obsessed With Writing Computer Code
August 29, 2014
Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley ruled that the law “unreasonably burdens” the right to vote.Angry About Ferguson? Oppose Voter ID Laws
August 26, 2014
I have, therefore, no need to speak further of the second commonwealth.A Theological-Political Treatise [Part IV]
Benedict of Spinoza
But the spirit of the old Commonwealth's man remained steadfast.The Works of Whittier, Volume VI (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
This is the inevitable consequence of the principles of the commonwealth.Freeland
We may now notice some points in which the commonwealth of the Laws approximates to the Athenian model.Laws
What manner of reputation, think you, that for a captain of the godly army of the Commonwealth?The Tavern Knight
- the people of a state or nation viewed politically; body politic
- a state or nation in which the people possess sovereignty; republic
- the body politic organized for the general good
- a group of persons united by some common interest
- obsolete the general good; public welfare
- an association of sovereign states, almost all of which were at some time dependencies of the UK. All member states recognize the reigning British sovereign as Head of the CommonwealthOfficial name: the Commonwealth of Nations
- the republic that existed in Britain from 1649 to 1660
- the part of this period up to 1653, when Cromwell became Protector
- the official designation of Australia, four states of the US (Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia), and Puerto Rico
Word Origin and History for commonwealth
A government established in Britain and Ireland in 1649, after the execution of King Charles I. It was in the form of a republic, under the leadership of the parliament. Oliver Cromwell soon assumed the supreme power in the Commonwealth and was given the title Lord Protector. After Cromwell's death in 1658, the Commonwealth quickly lost power, and the Restoration of the monarchy followed in 1660.