[ kom-uh n-welth ]
/ ˈkɒm ənˌwɛlθ /


Origin of commonwealth

1375–1425; late Middle English commun welthe

Definition for commonwealth (2 of 2)

Commonwealth of Nations


a voluntary association of independent nations and dependent territories linked by historical ties (as parts of the former British Empire) and cooperating on matters of mutual concern, especially regarding economics and trade.
Also called the Commonwealth. Formerly British Commonwealth, British Commonwealth of Nations.

Example sentences from the Web for commonwealth

British Dictionary definitions for commonwealth (1 of 2)

/ (ˈkɒmənˌwɛlθ) /


the people of a state or nation viewed politically; body politic
a state or nation in which the people possess sovereignty; republic
the body politic organized for the general good
a group of persons united by some common interest
obsolete the general good; public welfare

British Dictionary definitions for commonwealth (2 of 2)

/ (ˈkɒmənˌwɛlθ) /

noun the Commonwealth

an association of sovereign states, almost all of which were at some time dependencies of the UK. All member states recognize the reigning British sovereign as Head of the Commonwealth Official name: the Commonwealth of Nations
  1. the republic that existed in Britain from 1649 to 1660
  2. the part of this period up to 1653, when Cromwell became Protector
the official designation of Australia, four states of the US (Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia), and Puerto Rico

Cultural definitions for commonwealth


A government established in Britain and Ireland in 1649, after the execution of King Charles I. It was in the form of a republic, under the leadership of the parliament. Oliver Cromwell soon assumed the supreme power in the Commonwealth and was given the title Lord Protector. After Cromwell's death in 1658, the Commonwealth quickly lost power, and the Restoration of the monarchy followed in 1660.