What does Commonwealth mean?

Definitions for Commonwealth
ˈkɒm ənˌwɛlθcom·mon·wealth

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Commonwealth.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. commonwealthnoun

    the official name of some states in the United States (Massachusetts and Pennsylvania and Virginia and Kentucky) and associated territories (Puerto Rico)

  2. state, nation, country, land, commonwealth, res publica, body politicnoun

    a politically organized body of people under a single government

    "the state has elected a new president"; "African nations"; "students who had come to the nation's capitol"; "the country's largest manufacturer"; "an industrialized land"

  3. commonwealthnoun

    a world organization of autonomous states that are united in allegiance to a central power but are not subordinate to it or to one another

  4. democracy, republic, commonwealthnoun

    a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them


  1. commonwealthnoun

    A form of government, named for the concept that everything that is not owned by specific individuals or groups is owned collectively by everyone in the governmental unit, as opposed to a state, where the state itself owns such things.

  2. commonwealthnoun

    Approximately, a republic.

    May 19, 1649 Be it declared and enacted by this present Parliament and by the Authoritie of the same That the People of England and of all the Dominions and Territoryes thereunto belonging are and shall be and are hereby constituted, made, established, and confirmed to be a Commonwealth and free State And shall from henceforth be Governed as a Commonwealth and Free State by the supreame Authoritie of this Nation, the Representatives of the People in Parliam[ent] and by such as they shall appoint and constitute as Officers and Ministers under them for the good of the People and that without any King or House of Lords. Act of the Long Parliament.

  3. Commonwealthnoun

    The Commonwealth of Nations, a loose confederation of nations based around the former British Empire.

  4. Commonwealthnoun

    Australia, the Commonwealth of Australia,

    Mr. Martin was found guilty of defrauding the Commonwealth by making false welfare claims.

  5. Commonwealthnoun

    Kentucky, the Commonwealth of Kentucky,

  6. Commonwealthnoun

    Massachusetts, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,

  7. Commonwealthnoun

    Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,

  8. Commonwealthnoun

    Virginia, the Commonwealth of Virginia,

  9. Etymology: Originally "common-wealt" or "common weal". From 15th century, a compound of common (in the sense "public") and wealth (in the old sense "well-being"). Expanded in the 17th century to mean "a state in which the supreme power is vested in the people; a republic or democratic state." (OED)

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Commonweal, Commonwealthnoun

    Etymology: from common and weal, or wealth.

    Two foundations bear up publick societies; the one inclination, whereby all men desire sociable life; the other an order agreed upon, touching the manner of their union in living together: the latter is that which we call the law of a commonweal. Richard Hooker.

    It was impossible to make a commonweal in Ireland, without settling of all the estates and possessions throughout the kingdom. John Davies, on Ireland.

    A continual parliament would but keep the commonweal in tune, by preserving laws in their vigour. Charles I .

    There is no body in the commonwealth of learning who does not profess himself a lover of truth. John Locke.

    Such a prince,
    So kind a father of the commonweal. William Shakespeare, Henry IV.

    Their sons are well tutored by you: you are a good member of the commonwealth. William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour Lost.

    Did he, or do yet any of them, imagine
    The gods would sleep to such a Stygian practice,
    Against that commonwealth which they have founded. Johnson.

    Commonwealths were nothing more, in their original, but free cities; though sometimes, by force of orders and discipline, they have extended themselves into mighty dominions. William Temple.


  1. Commonwealth

    A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good. Historically, it has been synonymous with "republic". The noun "commonwealth", meaning "public welfare, general good or advantage", dates from the 15th century. Originally a phrase (the common-wealth or the common wealth – echoed in the modern synonym "public wealth"), it comes from the old meaning of "wealth", which is "well-being", and is itself a loose translation of the Latin res publica (republic). The term literally meant "common well-being". In the 17th century, the definition of "commonwealth" expanded from its original sense of "public welfare" or "commonweal" to mean "a state in which the supreme power is vested in the people; a republic or democratic state".The term evolved to become a title to a number of political entities. Three countries – Australia, the Bahamas, and Dominica – have the official title "Commonwealth", as do four U.S. states and two U.S. territories. Since the early 20th century, the term has been used to name some fraternal associations of states, most notably the Commonwealth of Nations, an organisation primarily of former territories of the British Empire. The organisation is not to be confused with the realms of the Commonwealth.


  1. commonwealth

    A commonwealth is a political community or unit that is founded for the common good. It is often used to refer to a self-governing, autonomous political entity or administrative division under a federal government. This can be a state, territory, or nation that opts to be part of a larger federation while maintaining its independence. Notably, the term "commonwealth" also refers to an association of sovereign nations, such as the Commonwealth of Nations, composed of countries that were formerly territories of the British Empire.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Commonwealthnoun

    a state; a body politic consisting of a certain number of men, united, by compact or tacit agreement, under one form of government and system of laws

  2. Commonwealthnoun

    the whole body of people in a state; the public

  3. Commonwealthnoun

    specifically, the form of government established on the death of Charles I., in 1649, which existed under Oliver Cromwell and his son Richard, ending with the abdication of the latter in 1659


  1. Commonwealth

    Commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good. Historically, it has sometimes been synonymous with "republic". More recently it has been used for fraternal associations of some sovereign nations. Most notably, the Commonwealth of Nations, an association primarily of former members of the British Empire, is often referred to as simply "the Commonwealth".

Suggested Resources

  1. commonwealth

    Song lyrics by commonwealth -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by commonwealth on the Lyrics.com website.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Commonwealth

    In theatrical parlance, a sharing out of the proceeds of the week’s performances after all expenses have been deducted. This generally happens when the manager has decamped with the entire takings, and left his company stranded.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Commonwealth' in Nouns Frequency: #2043

How to pronounce Commonwealth?

How to say Commonwealth in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Commonwealth in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Commonwealth in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of Commonwealth in a Sentence

  1. Billy Schuerman/The Virginian-Pilot/AP Drew:

    The individual is a 6-year-old student. He is right now in police custody, we have been in contact with our commonwealth attorney and some other entities to help us best get services to this young man.

  2. Elizabeth Perrin:

    Glenn Youngkin's victory showcases the Commonwealth's desire to elect a public servant instead of a political servant, what we have seen is the importance of family values and parental rights in our education system.

  3. Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear:

    Volkswagen must be held accountable for its false and misleading promotion and sales of its vehicles in the Commonwealth.

  4. The Pennsylvania:

    This evening I received a gracious phone call from David McCormick and am tremendously grateful for his pledge of support in the fall election. We share the goal of a brighter future for Pennsylvania and America. Now that our primary is over, we will make sure that this U.S. Senate seat does not fall into the hands of the radical left, led by John Fetterman. I look forward to campaigning in every corner of the Commonwealth for the next five months to earn the support of every Pennsylvanian. despite the fact that David McCormick has conceded the Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate race to Mehmet Oz, the automatic recount of the race will continue as ordered by the Secretary. The deadline for the defeated candidate to waive the recount has passed, and there is no provision in the election code that authorizes the Secretary to stop an automatic recount once it is ordered. Counties should continue their efforts to complete their recount by noon on June 7 and submit their results to the Secretary by noon on June 8.

  5. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf:

    If the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is going to take the irrevocable step of executing a human being, its capital sentencing system must be infallible, pennsylvania's system is riddled with flaws, making it error prone, expensive and anything but infallible.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Commonwealth

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for Commonwealth »


Find a translation for the Commonwealth definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"Commonwealth." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 5 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Commonwealth>.

Discuss these Commonwealth definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for Commonwealth? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    a decorative musical accompaniment (often improvised) added above a basic melody
    • A. lucubrate
    • B. fluster
    • C. exacerbate
    • D. descant

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for Commonwealth: