commonwealth

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

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

Synonyms for commonwealth

Synonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of commonwealth in a Sentence

laws that will benefit all the citizens of the commonwealth
Recent Examples on the Web But Arlington Circuit Judge Louise DiMatteo did not issue a statewide injunction against the governor’s executive order making masks optional in schools across the commonwealth. Washington Post, 9 Feb. 2022 Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has declared a state of emergency following heavy snowfall across the commonwealth. Lauren M. Johnson, CNN, 6 Jan. 2022 The official death toll surpassed 70 and was expected to grow, with more than 100 still missing across the commonwealth in connection with the weather. Mary Ramsey, The Courier-Journal, 14 Dec. 2021 The official report also accused the board of breaking the law by not keeping minutes of meetings and failed to properly notify a commonwealth’s attorney in at least one case. Tyler Arnold, Washington Examiner, 26 Mar. 2021 The decision comes after seven school boards requested a temporary restraining order in a lawsuit to block Youngkin's order to allow parents and students the option to opt out of a universal COVID-19 face mask policy for schools in the commonwealth. Kyle Morris, Fox News, 5 Feb. 2022 The total cuts would mean a revenue reduction of up to $700 million every year to the commonwealth and its localities, according to estimates from the Department of Taxation. Washington Post, 2 Mar. 2022 Marijuana just became worth more to the commonwealth of Massachusetts than alcohol for the first time. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, 25 Jan. 2022 Biden also approved an emergency declaration Saturday providing federal funds to the commonwealth of Kentucky. Andrew Mark Miller, Fox News, 12 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of commonwealth

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 7

Learn More About commonwealth

Time Traveler for commonwealth

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near commonwealth

commonweal

commonwealth

commonwealth's-man

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for commonwealth

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Commonwealth.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/commonwealth. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for commonwealth

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

More from Merriam-Webster on commonwealth

Nglish: Translation of commonwealth for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of commonwealth for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about commonwealth

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!