Definition of commoner in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkɒmənə/


1One of the ordinary or common people, as opposed to the aristocracy or to royalty: this is the story of the commoner who married a king
More example sentences
  • A truly democratic medium, the radio is accessible to everybody, and as a result the famous and infamous, the royalty and commoners, all tune in and talk to each other.
  • Wildly popular in his day, he was loved by royalty and commoners alike.
  • After all, the marriage of royalty to commoners is not an entirely new concept.
2A person who has a right over another’s land, e.g. for pasturage or mineral extraction: commoners' centuries-old grazing rights cattle and ponies owned by the commoners
More example sentences
  • The Act of 1965 dealt with these problems by creating local registers of common land and town and village greens which recorded the rights, if any, of the commoners and the names of the owners of the land.
  • It's a 200 year old celebration of commoner's rights to the land, according to this article.
  • In the event of conflicting priorities, the original property rights of owners and commoners should prevail.
3(At some British universities) an undergraduate who does not have a scholarship: a commoner’s gown
More example sentences
  • In 1596, aged 14, he was enrolled as gentleman commoner at University College, Oxford.
  • If no one wanted to give him an award, the choice went back to University College to take him as a commoner if they wished.
  • He was educated at Charterhouse School in London and was nominated by his schoolmaster for an exhibition to Christ church College, Oxford to which he was admitted as a commoner in 1720.


Middle English (denoting a citizen or burgess): from medieval Latin communarius, from communa, communia 'community', based on Latin communis (see common).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: com|mon¦er

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