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commonalty (countable and uncountable, plural commonalties)

  1. The common people; the commonality.
    • 1906, Sinclair Lewis, "Unknown Undergraduates" first published in the Yale Literary Magazine, June, 1906, in The Man from Main Street: Selected Essays and Other Writings, 1904-1950, Harry E. Maule and Melville H. Cane (eds.), New York: Pocket Books, 1962, p. 122,
      Besides the men who are unknown but important there is the commonalty, whom you regard as mere entities, whose very names you do not know, or will forget before your triennial.
  2. A group of things having similar characteristics. (The addition of quotations indicative of this usage is being sought):
  3. A class composed of persons lacking clerical or noble rank; commoners.
    • 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, London: J.M. Dent, 1906, Vol. 1, Chapter 35, p. 353, [1]
      [] and all the people wholly for this gentleness, first the estates both high and low, and after the commonalty cried at once: Sir Launcelot hath won the field whosoever say nay.
    • 1605-8, William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, Act I, [2]
      Second Citizen: Would you proceed especially against Caius Marcius?
      First Citizen: Against him first: he's a very dog to the commonalty.
    • 1910, Fiona Macleod, "The Harping of Cravetheen" in The Sin-Eater, The Washer of the Ford and Other Legendary Moralities, New York: Duffield & Co., pp. 91-2, [3]
      The commonalty spoke of his mighty spear-thrust, of his deft sword-swing, the terror of his wrath, of the fury of his battle-lust, of his laughter and light joy, and the singing that was on his lips when his sword had the silence upon it.
  4. The state or quality of having things in common.
    • 1988, Nadine Gordimer, The Essential Gesture: Writing, Politics and Places, New York: Knopf, p. 8,
      Or is there some way in which the product of that solitude—writing—may none the less be profoundly social, rejoining the commonalty of society, and through its indirections and specificities being the most authentic contribution the writer can offer?
    • 2000, Stephen O. Murray, Homosexualities, University of Chicago Press, Part 3, Chapter 9, p. 382,
      Some individuals fight the expectation that they ought to be part of any such "we," while others eagerly seek a sense of commonalty.
  5. A shared feature.
    • 2007, Curt R. Blakely, Prisons, Penology and Penal Reform: An Introduction to Institutional Specialization, New York: Peter Lang, Chapter 2, p. 29, [4]
      Observant visitors to any prison will quickly recognize commonalties in its inmate population. Not only do shared traits exist among the inmate population of any particular institution (intra-prison commonalties) but commonalties also exist among inmates nationwide (inter-prison commonalties).