from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The right to pasture animals on common land.
  • n. The state of being held in common.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The condition of land that is held in common
  • n. The right to pasture animals on common land

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The right of pasturing on a common; the right of using anything in common with others.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The use of anything in common with others; specifically, specifically pasturage or the right of pasturing on a common.
  • n. That which belongs equally to all; that which is common or public.
  • n. The commonalty.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. property held in common


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Compare Old French communage.


  • Ms Muller is one of 62 shareholders in the Rossport commonage, which is on the modified route for the Corrib gas onshore pipeline.

    An Irish Town Planner's Blog

  • In his play about John Clare, The Fool, Edward Bond evokes the anxiety of Clare and his fellow villagers around 1815 at the Acts of Enclosure by the big landowners that were robbing them of their rights of commonage, including their rights in woods and forests:


  • Like rabbits and pigeons, rooks were part of the unofficial commonage of the parish.


  • Lulu de Jager, an official of Free State Agriculture working mostly with emerging black farmers, said commonage fields at many towns in the Free State were a big concern.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Rebecca Sharp — in a word, the whole baronetage, peerage, commonage of England, did not contain a more cunning, mean, selfish, foolish, disreputable old man.

    Vanity Fair

  • Some municipalities had made commonage available for hire, but there were still municipalities where emerging farmers were unable to access land.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Programme of Land Redistribution and Agricultural Development (IPLRAD) targets not only the number of households benefiting and the hectares of land transferred, but also sustainability of natural resources and wealth in agricultural production and commonage projects.

    Economic transformation

  • A referendum on the way in which certain pieces of commonage land will be owned and administrated in the Namaqualand region of the Northern Cape Province, will be held from 30 December 2002 to

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • The communities which would gain access to commonage land resided in Soebatsfontein, Komaggas and Steinkopf in Namaqualand, Kenhardt in the Benede Oranje region, and Niekerkshoop, Prieska, Strydenburg and Colesberg in the Upper Karoo.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • In eight other Northern Cape communities, emerging farmers would be given access to farm land in terms of a commonage system.

    ANC Daily News Briefing


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  • Open-field, communal grazing. Usage:

    "Animal husbandry based on the old, Irish homeland system of open field grazing or commonage was once the style in Tilting.... Fences were used to keep animals out of gardens and off the top of root cellars, rather than to keep them penned in.... Some Tilting residents ... complained that the animals were ruining their front yards, so the town council passed a bylaw against roaming animals. In the past, however, there was more tolerance of the presence of animals, and less interest in maintaining a formal front yard. Peole used to have a sense of humor about the animals. Not only did animals get into gardens, they sometimes got into houses. Fergus Burke told me about the cow that once went into a house and walked up the steps to the second floor. Apparently they had a difficult time getting her downstairs and out of the house.

    "My friend Cyril McGrath has resorted to grazing his sheep on Little Fogo Islands in the summer where they will not disturb anyone. Each spring Cyril gently ties their legs together and places them in his open motorboat for the five-mile trip to the islands. It is a curious sight to see twelve to fifteen sheep riding over the open sea in a motorboat."

    --Robert Mellin, Tilting: House Launching, Slide Hauling, Potato Trenching, and Other Tales from a Newfoundland Fishing Village, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2003.

    December 9, 2007