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commonwealth (n.)

mid-15c., commoun welthe, "a community, whole body of people in a state," from common (adj.) + wealth (n.). Specifically "state with a republican or democratic form of government" from 1610s. From 1550s as "any body of persons united by some common interest." Applied specifically to the government of England in the period 1649-1660, and later to self-governing former colonies under the British crown (1917). In the U.S., it forms a part of the official name of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Virginia, Kentucky, and Puerto Rico but has no special significance.

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Definitions of commonwealth from WordNet

commonwealth (n.)
the official name of some states in the United States (Massachusetts and Pennsylvania and Virginia and Kentucky) and associated territories (Puerto Rico);
commonwealth (n.)
a politically organized body of people under a single government;
Synonyms: state / nation / country / land / res publica / body politic
commonwealth (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;
commonwealth (n.)
a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them;
Synonyms: democracy / republic
From wordnet.princeton.edu