1 of 2


: commonly found or seen : ordinary, unremarkable
a commonplace occurrence
the large mergers that had become commonplace
Computers are commonplace in classrooms.
commonplaceness noun


2 of 2


com·​mon·​place ˈkä-mən-ˌplās How to pronounce commonplace (audio)
: an obvious or trite comment : truism
It is a commonplace that a fool and his money are soon parted.
: something commonly found
A smartphone is a commonplace.
archaic : a striking passage entered in a commonplace book

Examples of commonplace in a Sentence

Adjective Drug use has become commonplace at rock concerts. He photographed commonplace objects like lamps and bowls. Noun It is a commonplace that we only use a small part of our brain's capacity. We now accept cell phones and laptop computers as commonplaces of everyday life.
Recent Examples on the Web
This lofty notion, once associated primarily with opera and architecture, is now commonplace. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 16 Feb. 2024 Industry experts vary in their predictions for when fully autonomous cars will be commonplace. Steve Richmond, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 In recent years, Cuba’s sugar production plummeted to its lowest level in a century, the food rations distributed by the government have been reduced, and accounts of hunger and malnutrition have become commonplace on social media. Nora Gámez Torres, Miami Herald, 2 Feb. 2024 Such mega-spreads help to attract attention in the open-water setting preferred by these divers, as does the commonplace usage of high-white drake-only rigs. M.d. Johnson, Field & Stream, 8 Feb. 2024 Others are packed into houses in the city, where rocket attacks are already commonplace. Rob Picheta, CNN, 6 Feb. 2024 Racially restrictive covenants like this were commonplace in Los Angeles County in the early 1900s, ending only after the U.S. Supreme Court and federal law barred their enforcement. Jaclyn Cosgrove, Los Angeles Times, 6 Feb. 2024 Ebbs and flows are commonplace in basketball games. Mike Cook, Twin Cities, 3 Feb. 2024 Speak with your leasing office about a security deposit alternative Security deposits are commonplace with most rental processes to pay for repairs the building needs to perform if there’s damage upon your exit. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 1 Feb. 2024
Sacred books are far from commonplace in ancient religions. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 21 Aug. 2023 It’s become a commonplace in business to say the pace of change is faster than ever. Alan Murray, Fortune, 12 Jan. 2024 Affordable and durable but polished to a luxurious sheen, the compound has become a commonplace of modern architecture, found everywhere from subway stairwells to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Zoey Poll, New York Times, 15 Sep. 2023 From the commonplace to the world changing, such examples of synchronicity are often dismissed as coincidence. Ginny Whitelaw, Forbes, 1 Jan. 2023 But a book that spent less of its time reprising our era’s commonplaces would have made better use of ours. Parul Sehgal, The New Yorker, 6 Mar. 2023 Walking with her is a slow and deliberate act in which commonplace fixtures become daunting obstacles: a curb is to be navigated with care; a short flight of steps has to be accounted for with additional travel time. Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times, 24 June 2023 The pandemic has made videoconferencing commonplace, and many people remain wary of large gatherings. Adam Liptak, New York Times, 20 Mar. 2023 What was once a key element of the American cultural fabric and a commonplace, uncontroversial practice had become the center of a firestorm of discomfort, disapproval, and outright rejection. Kyle Denis, Billboard, 3 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'commonplace.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun and Adjective

translation of Latin locus communis widely applicable argument, translation of Greek koinos topos

First Known Use


1616, in the meaning defined above


circa 1531, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of commonplace was circa 1531

Dictionary Entries Near commonplace

Cite this Entry

“Commonplace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
com·​mon·​place ˈkäm-ən-ˌplās How to pronounce commonplace (audio)
: something that is often seen, heard, or met with


2 of 2 adjective
: very common or ordinary

More from Merriam-Webster on commonplace

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