or·​di·​nar·​i·​ly ˌȯr-də-ˈner-ə-lē How to pronounce ordinarily (audio)
: in an ordinary manner or to an ordinary extent: such as
: in the ordinary course of events : usually
She was ordinarily very busy in the morning.
the jobs ordinarily handled by junior staff members
… cortisol, a hormone which ordinarily comes into play in situations of bodily stress …Maggie Scarf
Ordinarily, the immune system of any mammal will work to fight off a fungal parasite.David Quammen
: to the usual extent : moderately
It must suffice for him to be ordinarily honest according to the ordinary honesty of the world's ways …Anthony Trollope
: in a commonplace or inferior way : without distinction
A friend of mine … has two apartments on the 3rd floor, very ordinarily furnished …Walt Whitman

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The 2023 Victory Day parade in Moscow—ordinarily a tank-stravaganza—featured only one tank, a World War-era T-34/85 tank. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 17 May 2023 At a time when crime rates are surging throughout Latin America — including in ordinarily peaceful countries such as Costa Rica, Chile and Ecuador — Bukele is being heralded by the right as a sort of savior. Diana Durán, Washington Post, 15 May 2023 Although ordinarily the stuff of fantasy — and blockbuster Disney movies — being a real-life mermaid or merman is actually a reality for a select number. Alexis Jones, Peoplemag, 15 May 2023 New York and California are both hosting Senate races that ordinarily would be uphill climbs, particularly in presidential years. Tal Axelrod, ABC News, 19 Apr. 2023 Usury laws govern conventional loans; in New York, charging more than 25 percent annual interest is ordinarily prohibited. Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, 27 Nov. 2022 Only two-thirds to three-fifths of anesthetic ordinarily necessary is used, with the result that the poisoning effect, brought about by ether, for example, is much reduced. Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, 1 Oct. 2022 That, along with limited inventory, has most notably kept the U.S. from donating 190-mile range ATACMS ballistic missiles that are ordinarily compatible with the HIMARS and M270 rocket artillery systems donated to Ukraine. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 12 May 2023 During the winter, crews across the west struggled to keep up with the work, and many roads that are ordinarily open in the winter were closed for hours, if not days. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, 11 May 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1555, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ordinarily was in 1555

Dictionary Entries Near ordinarily

Cite this Entry

“Ordinarily.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ordinarily. Accessed 30 May. 2023.

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