To be on short commons


To be on short commons
Commons Com"mons, n. pl., 1. The mass of the people, as distinguished from the titled classes or nobility; the commonalty; the common people. [Eng.] [1913 Webster]

'T is like the commons, rude unpolished hinds, Could send such message to their sovereign. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The word commons in its present ordinary signification comprises all the people who are under the rank of peers. --Blackstone. [1913 Webster]

2. The House of Commons, or lower house of the British Parliament, consisting of representatives elected by the qualified voters of counties, boroughs, and universities. [1913 Webster]

It is agreed that the Commons were no part of the great council till some ages after the Conquest. --Hume. [1913 Webster]

3. Provisions; food; fare, -- as that provided at a common table in colleges and universities. [1913 Webster]

Their commons, though but coarse, were nothing scant. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

4. A club or association for boarding at a common table, as in a college, the members sharing the expenses equally; as, to board in commons. [1913 Webster]

5. A common; public pasture ground. [1913 Webster]

To shake his ears, and graze in commons. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{Doctors' Commons}, a place near St. Paul's Churchyard in London where the doctors of civil law used to common together, and where were the ecclesiastical and admiralty courts and offices having jurisdiction of marriage licenses, divorces, registration of wills, etc.

{To be on short commons}, to have a small allowance of food. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • short commons — (informal) Meagre rations • • • Main Entry: ↑common short commons plural noun Minimum rations • • • Main Entry: ↑short …   Useful english dictionary

  • short commons — noun Meagre rations. The master, in his cooks uniform, stationed himself at the copper; his pauper assistants ranged themselves behind him; the gruel was served out; and a long grace was said over the short commons …   Wiktionary

  • short commons — /ʃɔt ˈkɒmənz/ (say shawt komuhnz) plural noun 1. limited or scant rations. –phrase 2. on short commons, on limited or scant rations …   Australian English dictionary

  • short commons — archaic insufficient allocation of food. → commons …   English new terms dictionary

  • short-commons — /shawrt kom euhnz/, n. (used with a sing. v.) Southern U.S. a scanty allowance of food. * * * …   Universalium

  • short commons — minimal meal, scarce food ration, meal that provides a minimal amount of nutrition …   English contemporary dictionary

  • short-commons — /shawrt kom euhnz/, n. (used with a sing. v.) Southern U.S. a scanty allowance of food …   Useful english dictionary

  • Commons — Com mons, n. pl., 1. The mass of the people, as distinguished from the titled classes or nobility; the commonalty; the common people. [Eng.] [1913 Webster] T is like the commons, rude unpolished hinds, Could send such message to their sovereign.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • short — adj., adv., n., & v. adj. 1 a measuring little; not long from end to end (a short distance). b not long in duration; brief (a short time ago; had a short life). c seeming less than the stated amount (a few short years of happiness). 2 of small… …   Useful english dictionary

  • commons — plural noun 1》 (the Commons) short for House of Commons.     ↘historical the common people regarded as a part of a political system. 2》 [treated as sing.] land or resources belonging to or affecting the whole of a community. 3》 US a dining hall… …   English new terms dictionary