commonwealth

noun
com·​mon·​wealth | \ ˈkä-mən-ˌwelth also -ˌweltth How to pronounce commonwealth (audio) \

Definition of commonwealth

1 : a nation, state, or other political unit: such 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
2 : a state of the U.S. used officially of Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia
3 often capitalized : a political unit having local autonomy but voluntarily united with the U.S. used officially of Puerto Rico and of the Northern Mariana Islands
4 often capitalized : an association of self-governing autonomous states more or less loosely associated in a common allegiance (as to the British crown)

5 capitalized

a : the English state from the death of Charles I in 1649 to the Restoration in 1660
6 capitalized : a federal union of constituent states used officially of Australia
7 archaic : commonweal sense 2

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Synonyms for commonwealth

Synonyms

country, land, nation, sovereignty (also sovranty), state

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Examples of commonwealth in a Sentence

laws that will benefit all the citizens of the commonwealth

Recent Examples on the Web

As President and Vice President of The Queens Commonwealth Trust, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are committed to supporting the children and communities of the 53 commonwealth countries around the world. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Oops—"Sussex Royal" Had to Delete and Repost Their Latest Instagram Post," 8 Apr. 2019 The global initiative has preserved 8.4 million hectares from 53 commonwealth nations. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "Buckingham Palace Is In Bloom: How The Royals Are Celebrating Spring," 21 Mar. 2019 In her new role, the duchess will highlight the organization's partnerships across the commonwealth, working especially with women and girls, according to the Trust's website. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Jokes About Her Baby Kicking During an International Women's Day Panel," 8 Mar. 2019 The commonwealth of Virginia will invest $195 million to improve infrastructure in the neighborhood, Amazon said, including a pedestrian bridge linking the site to Reagan National Airport. Rachel Lerman, The Seattle Times, "HQ2: What’s in it for New York, Virginia sites? Amazon lays out some perks," 13 Nov. 2018 An island commonwealth integrates an AI to defend itself against a worsening hurricane season. The Verge, "Better Worlds," 5 Dec. 2018 Puerto Rico’s two main political parties represent those who are in favor of statehood and those who want to remain a commonwealth. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "Puerto Rico’s push for statehood, explained," 24 Sep. 2018 ProPublica's claims regarding Kentucky's website lack a complete understanding of the commonwealth's full approach to security, which is multi-layered. Jack Gillum And Jeff Kao, Ars Technica, "File-sharing software on state election servers could expose them to intruders," 5 Nov. 2018 Meghan opted for a cathedral length veil, embroidered with the 50 flowers of the British commonwealth. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Princess Eugenie's Wedding Dress Compared to Meghan Markle's–and Kate Middleton's," 12 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'commonwealth.' 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 commonwealth

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 7

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Statistics for commonwealth

Last Updated

24 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for commonwealth

The first known use of commonwealth was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for commonwealth

commonwealth

noun

English Language Learners Definition of commonwealth

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

commonwealth

noun
com·​mon·​wealth | \ ˈkä-mən-ˌwelth How to pronounce commonwealth (audio) \

Kids Definition of commonwealth

1 : a political unit (as a nation or state)
2 : one of four states of the United States—Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, or Virginia

commonwealth

noun
com·​mon·​wealth | \ ˈkä-mən-ˌwelth How to pronounce commonwealth (audio) \

Legal Definition of commonwealth

1 : a nation, state, or other political unit: as
a : one founded on law and united by compact or tacit agreement by the people for the common good
b : one in which supreme authority is vested in the people
c : republic
2 : a state of the U.S. used officially of Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia
3 often capitalized : an association of self-governing autonomous states more or less loosely associated in a common allegiance (as to the British crown)
4 often capitalized : a political unit having local autonomy but voluntarily united with the U.S. used officially of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands

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