Pronunciation: (kom'un-welth"), [key]
1. (cap.) a group of sovereign states and their dependencies associated by their own choice and linked with common objectives and interests: the British Commonwealth.
2. the Commonwealth.See Commonwealth of Nations.
3. (cap.) a federation of states: the Commonwealth of Australia.
4. (cap.) a self-governing territory associated with the U.S.: official designation of Puerto Rico.
5. (cap.) Eng. Hist.the English government from the abolition of the monarchy in 1649 until the establishment of the Protectorate in 1653, sometimes extended to include the restoration of Charles II in 1660.
6. (cap.) the official designation (rather than “State”) of four states of the U.S.: Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
7. any group of persons united by some common interest.
8. the whole body of people of a nation or state; the body politic.
9. a state in which the supreme power is held by the people; a republican or democratic state.
10. Obs.the public welfare.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.