commons


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commons

1. people not of noble birth viewed as forming a political order
2. the lower classes as contrasted to the ruling classes of society; the commonalty
3. Brit a building or hall for dining, recreation, etc., usually attached to a college
4. Brit food or rations (esp in the phrase short commons)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

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References in classic literature ?
As all the species of the same genus are supposed, on my theory, to have descended from a common parent, it might be expected that they would occasionally vary in an analogous manner; so that a variety of one species would resemble in some of its characters another species; this other species being on my view only a well-marked and permanent variety.
The spine is always striped; the legs are generally barred; and the shoulder-stripe, which is sometimes double and sometimes treble, is common; the side of the face, moreover, is sometimes striped.
Specific characters--that is, the characters which have come to differ since the several species of the same genus branched off from a common parent--are more variable than generic characters, or those which have long been inherited, and have not differed within this same period.
At this point my companion left me, and I--well, I confess that I retraced my steps to the common and rambled up that green lane, along which the romantic schoolmaster used to steal in the moonlight to the warm arms of his love.
The manner is something like that by which th common house-duck escapes when pursued by a dog; but am nearly sure that the steamer moves its wings alternately instead of both together, as in other birds.
Surprising as this union of separate individuals in common stock must always appear, every tree displays th same fact, for buds must be considered as individual plants It is, however, natural to consider a polypus, furnished wit a mouth, intestines, and other organs, as a distinct individual whereas the individuality of a leaf-bud is not easily realised so that the union of separate individuals in a common bod is more striking in a coralline than in a tree.
Very true, he replied; and I agree with you that in the best-ordered State there is the nearest approach to this common feeling which you describe.
And agreeably to this mode of thinking and speaking, were we not saying that they will have their pleasures and pains in common?
"Whether common ones as to callings and earnings," pursued Joe, reflectively, "mightn't be the better of continuing for a keep company with common ones, instead of going out to play with oncommon ones - which reminds me to hope that there were a flag, perhaps?"
When I got up to my little room and said my prayers, I did not forget Joe's recommendation, and yet my young mind was in that disturbed and unthankful state, that I thought long after I laid me down, how common Estella would consider Joe, a mere blacksmith: how thick his boots, and how coarse his hands.
Bourgeois marriage is in reality a system of wives in common and thus,at the most, what the Communists might possibly be reproached with,is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalised community of women.
But whatever form they may have taken, one fact is common to all past ages, viz., the exploitation of one part of society by the other.