commonwealth

noun

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

Examples of commonwealth in a Sentence

laws that will benefit all the citizens of the commonwealth
Recent Examples on the Web Greenhouse gas emissions, mostly from burning fossil fuels, have raised average temperatures in the commonwealth by about 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1950, according to the National Centers for Climate Information. Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post, 30 June 2024 The Julian Assange saga ended this week in a federal court in Saipan, an American commonwealth in the Northern Mariana Islands. The Editors, National Review, 26 June 2024 By Anna Gordon June 25, 2024 9:12 AM EDT A plane carrying Julian Assange has landed in Bangkok for refueling enroute to Saipan, a U.S. commonwealth in the Pacific, where the WikiLeaks founder will appear in a federal court on Wednesday following a plea deal with American prosecutors. Anna Gordon, TIME, 25 June 2024 His court hearing was held in Saipan, in the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. commonwealth. Naina Rao, NPR, 25 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for commonwealth 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'commonwealth.' 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 7

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

Dictionary Entries Near commonwealth

Cite this Entry

“Commonwealth.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/commonwealth. Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

commonwealth

noun
com·​mon·​wealth -ˌwelth How to pronounce commonwealth (audio)
1
: a political unit (as a nation or state)
2
: a state of the U.S.
used officially of Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia

Legal Definition

commonwealth

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

More from Merriam-Webster on commonwealth

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