commons

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Related to the Commons: Creative Commons, Tragedy of the commons

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)
References in classic literature ?
In the vegetable kingdom we have a case of analogous variation, in the enlarged stems, or roots as commonly called, of the Swedish turnip and Ruta baga, plants which several botanists rank as varieties produced by cultivation from a common parent: if this be not so, the case will then be one of analogous variation in two so-called distinct species; and to these a third may be added, namely, the common turnip.
A little way past the inn we came upon a notice-board whereon the lord of the manor warned all wayfarers against trespassing on the common by making encampments, lighting fires or cutting firewood thereon, and to this fortunate circumstance I owe the most interesting story my companion had to tell.
But very early in the morning poor Ogilvy, who had seen the shooting star and who was persuaded that a meteorite lay somewhere on the common between Horsell, Ottershaw, and Woking, rose early with the idea of finding it.