com·​mon·​er ˈkä-mə-nər How to pronounce commoner (audio)
: one of the common people
: one who is not of noble rank
: a student (as at Oxford) who pays for his own board

Examples of commoner in a Sentence

a prince who married a commoner
Recent Examples on the Web This launched a series of memes in which commoners resembling Kate get called up to play the royal. Anna Russell, The New Yorker, 27 Mar. 2024 Legendary as the first commoner to marry a king’s daughter in four centuries, Tony wed Margaret in 1960. Bill McGraw, Detroit Free Press, 17 Mar. 2024 Byron would have rejoiced in such an irony: the blue blood revered by commoners. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 26 Feb. 2024 Glen Cavaliero, a fellow commoner at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and president of the Powys Society, was intrigued by a reference to Paul in Powys’s letters, tracked her books down, and included her in his study of English supernatural fiction for Oxford University Press. Joanna Biggs, Harper's Magazine, 10 Jan. 2024 Royal weddings have been fascinating commoners for generations. Vogue, 30 Oct. 2023 But for us mere commoners, there are still plenty of modest and affordable options out there. Jermaine Gallacher, Vogue, 29 Sep. 2023 Coveting its vitality and upset by their exclusion, modern-day lords and ladies catch wind of a phrase—perhaps by commanding a commoner to explain it to them—and start using it in the castle, ruining it for everyone. Caleb Madison, The Atlantic, 28 Oct. 2023 To protect the social order, sumptuary laws were passed that discouraged commoners from dressing above their class. Nick Haramis, New York Times, 6 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'commoner.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of commoner was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near commoner

Cite this Entry

“Commoner.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


com·​mon·​er ˈkäm-ə-nər How to pronounce commoner (audio)
: one of the common people : a person who is not of noble rank

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Com·​mo·​ner ˈkä-mə-nər How to pronounce Commoner (audio)
Barry 1917–2012 American biologist and educator

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