Definitions for: Commonwealth

[n] 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] a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
[n] 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] the official name of some states in the United States (Massachusetts and Pennsylvania and Virginia and Kentucky) and associated territories (Puerto Rico)

Webster (1913) Definition: Com"mon*wealth` (?; 277), n. [Common + wealth
1. 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. --Milton.

Note: This term is applied to governments which are
considered as free or popular, but rarely, or
improperly, to an absolute government. The word
signifies, strictly, the common well-being or
happiness; and hence, a form of government in which the
general welfare is regarded rather than the welfare of
any class.

2. The whole body of people in a state; the public.

3. (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.

Syn: State; realm; republic.

Synonyms: body politic, country, democracy, land, nation, republic, res publica, state

Antonyms: autarchy, autocracy

See Also: ally, British Commonwealth, city state, Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, estate, estate of the realm, form of government, great power, international organisation, international organization, major power, parliamentary democracy, political system, political unit, Porto Rico, power, PR, province, Puerto Rico, Reich, sea power, state, superpower, suzerain, world organisation, world organization, world power

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