English edit

Pronunciation edit

Etymology 1 edit

common +‎ -er (comparative suffix)

Adjective edit

commoner

  1. comparative form of common: more common
Usage notes edit
  • The potential for confusion with use of the noun as an adjective, especially in the UK, makes this form less desirable. The form "more common" is more common.

Etymology 2 edit

From Middle English comoner, comyner, cumuner, equivalent to common +‎ -er.

Noun edit

 
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commoner (plural commoners)

  1. A member of the common people who holds no title or rank.
  2. (Britain) Someone who is not of noble rank.
    • 1827, Henry Hallam, The Constitutional History of England from the Accession of Henry VII. to the Death of George II. [], volumes (please specify |volume=I or II), London: John Murray, [], →OCLC:
      All below them [the peers], even their children, were commoners, and in the eye of the law equal to each other.
  3. (obsolete, UK, Oxford University) A student who is not dependent on any foundation for support, but pays all university charges; at Cambridge called a pensioner.
    • 1886, Rev. Morris Joseph Fuller, “College Days (Sydney-Sussex). 1629-1631”, in The Life, Times and Writings of Thomas Fuller, D.D.[1], 2nd edition, volume 1, London: S. Sonnenschein, Le Bas & Lowrey, pages 68–69:
      There are to this day fellow-commoners at Queens, and surely such a distinguished commoner as Fuller would have been allowed to remain on that foundation, in which he had spent seven years, in this new capacity. The expense would have been about the same, and the only way in which I can account for his migration is either pique at being passed over, or the friendship of so famed a theologian as Dr. Ward.
  4. Someone who has a right over another's land. They hold common rights because of residence or land ownership in a particular manor, especially rights on common land. eg: centuries-old grazing rights
    • 1631, Francis [Bacon], “(please specify |century=I to X)”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. [], 3rd edition, London: [] William Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], →OCLC:
      Much good land might be gained from forests [] and from other commonable places, so as always there be a due care taken that the poor commoners have no injury.
  5. (obsolete) One sharing with another in anything.
    • 1651, Thomas Fuller, Abel Redevivus; republished as chapter 1, in The Life, Times and Writings of Thomas Fuller, D.D.[2], volume 2, London: S. Sonnenschein, Le Bas & Lowrey, 1886, page 20:
      From the Counsell he was carried home to the Prison, and there for many days kept with bread and water, so that had the proudest Anchorite, pretending to the highest abstinence, been Commoner with him, it would have tried his swiftest Devotion to keepe pace with him.
  6. (obsolete) A prostitute.
    • c. 1604–1605, William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well, act 5, scene 3, lines 191–195:
      O behold this ring / Whose high respect and rich validity / Did lack a parallel; yet for all that / He gave it to a commoner o'th' camp, / If I be one.
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