A country in the British empire that, between 1867 and 1947, had achieved a degree of autonomy but still owed allegiance to the British crown. The first country to call itself a dominion was Canada (1867), followed in 1907 by New Zealand. Australia called itself a Commonwealth (1901), South Africa a Union (1910). After World War II the concept became obsolete as the Commonwealth of Nations included countries that were republics and did not owe allegiance to the crown, though accepting the monarch as symbolic head of the Commonwealth.
Subjects: Law — History.