• WordNet 3.6
    • n commonwealth 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"
    • n commonwealth a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
    • n commonwealth 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
    • n commonwealth the official name of some states in the United States (Massachusetts and Pennsylvania and Virginia and Kentucky) and associated territories (Puerto Rico)
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The Boston University Bridge (on Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts) is one of the few places in the world where a boat can sail under a train driving under a car driving under an airplane
    • Commonwealth 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. "The trappings of a monarchy would set up an ordinary commonwealth ."
    • Commonwealth (Eng. Hist) 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.
    • Commonwealth The whole body of people in a state; the public.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n commonwealth The whole body of people in a state; the body politic; the public.
    • n commonwealth Specifically The republican or democratic form of government; a government chosen directly by the people; a republican or democratic state: as, the commonwealth of England (which see, below). In the United States, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky are officially styled commonwealths.
    • n commonwealth An association of actors who take shares in the receipts, in lieu of salaries.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Commonwealth kom′un-welth the common or public good: the government in a free state: the public or whole body of the people: a form of government in which the power rests with the people, esp. that in England after the overthrow of Charles I.
    • ***


  • Thomas Fuller
    “Though bachelors be the strongest stakes, married men are the best binders, in the hedge of the commonwealth.”
  • John Pym
    John Pym
    “A Parliament is that to the Commonwealth which the soul is to the body. It behooves us therefore to keep the facility of that soul from distemper.”
  • John Dryden
    “Plots, true or false, are necessary things, to raise up commonwealths, and ruin kings.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Common, + wealth, well-being
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
See Wealth.


In literature:

Geoffrey of Anjou, and William punished it by reducing Le Mans from a sovereign commonwealth to a mere privileged municipality.
"The Story of Rouen" by Sir Theodore Andrea Cook
We have come together upon the invitation of the glorious old commonwealth of Virginia, the mother of States and Statesmen.
"A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention" by Lucius Eugene Chittenden
The original church was destroyed by the Commonwealth in 1658, and rebuilt in 1664.
"Exeter" by Sidney Heath
You cannot limit it to the Governor of this Commonwealth; nor to the Legislature; nor even to the citizens of this Commonwealth.
"Bradford's History of 'Plimoth Plantation'" by William Bradford
Make the Kingdom a Commonwealth and the nation will be saved.
"William Pitt and the Great War" by John Holland Rose
Some believe that this great emphasis on sexual interests may intensify aesthetic longings in the American commonwealth.
"Psychology and Social Sanity" by Hugo Münsterberg
The liberty praised in Rome and Athens was the liberty of the commonwealth as against other commonwealths.
"The World's Greatest Books--Volume 14--Philosophy and Economics" by Various
Each of these cities was the center and strong-hold of a small but very energetic and powerful commonwealth.
"Xerxes" by Jacob Abbott
As before Lycurgus the Spartan commonwealth was largely without law, so was Athens before Solon.
"Historic Tales, vol 10 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
The prisoners were taken into Rome and made citizens of the new commonwealth.
"Historic Tales, Volume 11 (of 15)" by Charles Morris

In poetry:

And, though the shade of treasonable strife
Falls on our homes and theirs, You, wandering, saw,
Young Commonwealths You found, surging with life,
Yet ruled by Law:
"A Royal Home-Coming" by Alfred Austin
Be his deed hid from commonwealths and kings,
By all men born be one true tale forgot;
But three things, braver than all earthly things,
Faced him and feared him not.
"The Earth's Shame" by Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Join in the task, with retrospective eye;
Men's mem'ries should not perish 'neath the spade;
Pay homage to the dead, whose dying cry
Was for the Commonwealth, Mahone's Brigade.
"Mahone's Brigade" by James Barron Hope
"Great Mother of great Commonwealths"
Men call our Mother State:
And she so well has earned this name
That she may challenge Fate
To snatch away the epithet
Long given her of "great."
"The Lee Memorial Ode" by James Barron Hope
B, taught by Pope to do his good by stealth,
'Twixt participle and noun no difference feeling,
In office placed to serve the Commonwealth,
Does himself all the good he can by stealing.
"Inscriptions" by James Russell Lowell
I'd hate to face the those flashing eyes
That scanned a state's hypocrisies
And woke a commonwealth to shame
with crashing axe and words of flame
Until men dare to carry out
The laws they made and lied about.
"Carrie Nation" by Willard Wattles

In news:

Tracking campaign cash in the commonwealth .
The following are pairings for the KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowls beginning this Friday.
Commonwealth 's Attorney's Office Gives Citizenship Award.
The Harrisonburg Commonwealth 's Attorney's office honored good neighbors in the Valley on Friday.
NCAA Women's Basketball Conversation: Final statistics from the Virginia Commonwealth Rams vs Coppin State Eagles game played on December 08, 2012.
The Commonwealth National Bank is the second largest black-owned full-service bank in Alabama.
Commonwealth Health has begun moving into the Waterfront Complex on North River Street.
Virginia Commonwealth Rams at Old Dominion Monarchs.
Virginia Commonwealth at Old Dominion.
Cultures Converge at Commonwealth Dairy.
A great 24 hours for sports in the commonwealth .
Commonwealth will celebrate its grand opening on Wednesday, Dec 12, bringing an inviting new social scene to Downtown Las Vegas.
NCAA Women's Basketball Conversation: Final statistics from the Virginia Commonwealth Rams vs Maine Black Bears game played on November 24, 2012.
Commonwealth Cup game is for low stakes, but still a must-win for both teams.
Native, Novi man serves Starr Commonwealth in leadership role.

In science:

ARU acknowledges financial support of the Commonwealth Commission, UK and thanks Professor Sandu Popescu and Paul Skrzypczyk for insightful comments.
Dynamical evolution of quantum oscillators towards equilibrium
The Parkes radio telescope is part of the Australia Telescope which is funded by the Commonwealth Government for operation as a National Facility managed by CSIRO.
Detection of the Pulsar Wind Nebula HESS J1825-137 with the Fermi Large Area Telescope
The Australia Telescope is funded by the Commonwealth of Australia for operation as a National Facility managed by CSIRO.
The jet-cloud interacting radio galaxy PKS B2152-699. I. Structures revealed in new deep radio and X-ray observations
DRB thanks the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for support.
Iron K-alpha Emission from X-ray Reflection: Predictions for Gamma-Ray Burst Models
The Australia Telescope is funded by the Commonwealth of Australia for operation as a National Facility, managed by CSIRO.
The X-ray jet and halo of PKS 0521-365