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
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

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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 Those groups will be eligible throughout the commonwealth by the end of the month, state officials have said. Evan Macdonald, cleveland, "Ohio’s coronavirus vaccine plan puts the burden on older residents: How does it compare to other state plans?," 14 Jan. 2021 The suit, which was filed late Monday night by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, lists the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the states of Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin as defendants. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Texas files lawsuit with Supreme Court against battleground states Biden won," 8 Dec. 2020 In the wake of surging COVID-19 cases, Beshear, a Democrat, issued an executive order Nov. 18 requiring all private and public schools in the commonwealth to not hold any in-person classes from Nov. 23 until at least Jan. 4. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Appeals court allows Beshear to halt in-person classes at Kentucky's religious schools," 29 Nov. 2020 Walker said the vaccine has been sent to 18 hospitals throughout the commonwealth that are part of broader health care systems. Tyler Arnold, Washington Examiner, "Vaccine rollout moving smoothly in Virginia," 16 Dec. 2020 President Donald Trump and his allies have continued to lobby Pennsylvania officials on its failed election cases in the commonwealth, going so far as to try and stop the state’s certification of the election results. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, "Politics updates: Trump reached out to PA House speaker over election," 9 Dec. 2020 Virginia’s Department of Transportation handles snow removal in all counties across the commonwealth, except for Henrico and Arlington. Washington Post, "Local governments, still grappling with the pandemic, prepare for winter," 8 Dec. 2020 According to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, a third of the commonwealth's hospitals anticipate staffing shortages within the next week, with 5,300 people in the hospital with COVID-19 and 1,107 of those in intensive care. CBS News, "Philadelphia officials warn residents to "remain vigilant" as holidays approach," 8 Dec. 2020 Meanwhile, McGrath secured more votes than Booker in rural counties throughout the commonwealth. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "County by county, here's how Kentucky's U.S. Senate primary shook out," 1 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for commonwealth

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for commonwealth

Last Updated

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Commonwealth.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/commonwealth. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for commonwealth

commonwealth

noun
How to pronounce commonwealth (audio)

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
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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Comments on commonwealth

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