commonwealth

8 ENTRIES FOUND:

com·mon·wealth

noun \-ˌwelth also -ˌweltth\

: a group of countries or states that have political or economic connections with one another

the Commonwealth : a U.S. state

: a political unit that is like a U.S. state but that pays no federal taxes and has only a representative in Congress who does not vote

Full Definition of COMMONWEALTH

1
archaic :  commonweal 2
2
:  a nation, state, or other political unit: as
a :  one founded on law and united by compact or tacit agreement of the people for the common good
b :  one in which supreme authority is vested in the people
c :  republic
3
capitalized
a :  the English state from the death of Charles I in 1649 to the Restoration in 1660
b :  protectorate 1b
4
:  a state of the United States —used officially of Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia
5
capitalized :  a federal union of constituent states —used officially of Australia
6
often capitalized :  an association of self-governing autonomous states more or less loosely associated in a common allegiance (as to the British crown)
7
often capitalized :  a political unit having local autonomy but voluntarily united with the United States —used officially of Puerto Rico and of the Northern Mariana Islands

Examples of COMMONWEALTH

  1. <laws that will benefit all the citizens of the commonwealth>

First Known Use of COMMONWEALTH

15th century

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism

Rhymes with COMMONWEALTH

commonwealth

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Body politic founded on law for the common “weal,” or good. The term was often used by 17th-century writers to signify an organized political community, its meaning thus being similar to the modern meaning of state or nation. Today it primarily refers to the Commonwealth. Four U.S. states (Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) call themselves commonwealths, a distinction in name only. Puerto Rico has been a commonwealth rather than a state since 1952; its residents, though U.S. citizens, have only a nonvoting representative in Congress and pay no federal taxes.

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