com·​mon·​er | \ ˈkä-mə-nər How to pronounce commoner (audio) \

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 How to pronounce Commoner (audio) \

Definition of Commoner (Entry 2 of 2)

Barry 1917–2012 American biologist and educator

Examples of commoner in a Sentence

Noun a prince who married a commoner
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun From commoners to nobility, women were encouraged and expected to be capable administrators. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 2 Apr. 2020 Beatrice isn't the first in her family to marry a commoner. Rasha Ali, USA TODAY, "After Prince Andrew scandal, Princess Beatrice's royal wedding details revealed," 7 Feb. 2020 Its subject—the commoner with the Italian name—is thirty-five, handsome, bearded, gazing confidently over our right shoulder. New York Times, "‘The Man in the Red Coat,’ by Julian Barnes: An Excerpt," 18 Feb. 2020 Originally, Robin Hood was a yeoman — a commoner, of no formal rank at all. Lee Child, Time, "Lee Child: How Jack Reacher Fits Into a Long History of Folk Heroes," 26 Nov. 2019 The Duchess has spent plenty of time in the Big Apple as both a commoner and a royal, from extended periods of time filming TV shows like Suits and CSI: NY to spending several days there for her baby shower for Archie. Hannah Chubb,, "Canada-Bound? Where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle May End Up if They Move to North America," 8 Jan. 2020 That is a concern with just two home games remaining against Big Ten commoners Illinois and Maryland. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football: After second bye in three weeks, what to watch vs. Illinois," 3 Nov. 2019 But empowering commoners could mend rents in the civic fabric and alleviate frustration with out-of-touch elites. The Economist, "The alternatives to privatisation and nationalisation," 12 Sep. 2019 Olmsted, whose politics leaned sharply left, saw in Birkenhead Park a radical civic experiment, a place where commoners and aristocrats could rub elbows. New York Times, "The Parks That Made the Man Who Made Central Park," 30 Oct. 2019

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

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Last Updated

16 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Commoner.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for commoner


How to pronounce Commoner (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of commoner

: a person who is not a member of the nobility


com·​mon·​er | \ ˈkä-mə-nər How to pronounce commoner (audio) \

Kids Definition of commoner

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

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