commonwealth

noun com·mon·wealth \ ˈkä-mən-ˌwelth also -ˌweltth \

Definition of commonwealth

1 archaic :commonweal 2
2 :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
3 capitalized
a :the English state from the death of Charles I in 1649 to the Restoration in 1660
b :protectorate 1b
4 :a state of the U.S. used officially of Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia
5 capitalized :a federal union of constituent states used officially of Australia
6 often capitalized :an association of self-governing autonomous states more or less loosely associated in a common allegiance (as to the British crown)
7 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

Examples of commonwealth in a Sentence

  1. laws that will benefit all the citizens of the commonwealth

Recent Examples of commonwealth from the Web

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


COMMONWEALTH Defined for English Language Learners

commonwealth

noun

Definition of commonwealth for English Language Learners

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

  • the Commonwealth : 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 Defined for Kids

commonwealth

noun com·mon·wealth \ ˈkä-mən-ˌwelth \

Definition of commonwealth for Students

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

Law Dictionary

commonwealth

noun com·mon·wealth \ ˈkä-mən-ˌwelth \

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
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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