com·​mon·​er | \ ˈkä-mə-nər \

Definition of commoner

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : one of the common people
b : one who is not of noble rank
2 : a student (as at Oxford) who pays for his own board


biographical name
Com·​mo·​ner | \ ˈkä-mə-nər \

Definition of Commoner (Entry 2 of 2)

Barry 1917–2012 American biologist and educator

Examples of commoner in a Sentence


a prince who married a commoner

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

From time out of mind, human societies had organized as hierarchies—pyramids with kings at the top, nobles in the middle, and commoners on the bottom. Allen C. Guelzo, WSJ, "America Was Always an Exceptional Nation, but Is It Still?," 23 Nov. 2018 Blair apparently has amnesia because for the second time in her short life she's being duped by a royal posing as a commoner. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Every Single Episode of Gossip Girl, Ranked," 19 Sep. 2018 Fashion exemplifies the divide between the two worlds coming head-to-head in the film: big-city and hometown, royalty and commoner... Fawnia Soo Hoo, Glamour, "Why You Should Be Paying Attention to the Costumes in All Those Holiday Movies," 7 Dec. 2018 The intimate gesture caught the attention of the press and blew the lid off the couple’s affair, which was a problem, because Townsend was a divorced commoner and therefore deemed an unsuitable match for the high-ranking Margaret. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Before Thomas Markle Spoke Out: A Look Back at the Biggest Royal Scandals in Recent History," 14 Aug. 2018 In the first decade of the 21st century, matches between commoners and royals were made all across Europe. Michael Joseph Gross, Town & Country, "How Commoners Are Saving the Royal Families of Europe," 17 Jan. 2018 Ayako is the second Japanese royal to give up her title to marry a commoner in recent years. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Princess Ayako of Japan Gives Up Her Royal Title in Wedding to Commoner Kei Moriya," 29 Oct. 2018 Best of all for us commoners, the shade is only $9. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Princess Eugenie Got Married in the Same $9 Essie Nail Polish Meghan Markle Wore for Her Wedding," 15 Oct. 2018 Harry's engagement to Markle isn't all that exceptional in the history of royal-falls-for-commoner relationships. Lorraine Ali,, "The royal wedding: Fairy tale or 'Game of Thrones'?," 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'commoner.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of commoner


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

9 Jan 2019

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The first known use of commoner was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of commoner

: a person who is not a member of the nobility


com·​mon·​er | \ ˈkä-mə-nər \

Kids Definition of commoner

: a person who is not privileged or high in social status

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More from Merriam-Webster on commoner

Spanish Central: Translation of commoner

Nglish: Translation of commoner for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of commoner for Arabic Speakers

Comments on commoner

What made you want to look up commoner? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to settle judicially or to act as judge

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