ordinary

adjective
or·​di·​nary | \ ˈȯr-də-ˌner-ē How to pronounce ordinary (audio) \

Definition of ordinary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of a kind to be expected in the normal order of events : routine, usual an ordinary day
2a : of common quality, rank, or ability an ordinary teenager
b : deficient in quality : poor, inferior ordinary wine
3 : having or constituting immediate or original jurisdiction also : belonging to such jurisdiction

ordinary

noun
plural ordinaries

Definition of ordinary (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the regular or customary condition or course of things usually used in the phrase out of the ordinaryWe haven't done anything out of the ordinary.
2a(1) : a prelate exercising original jurisdiction over a specified territory or group The ordinary of a diocese is a bishop.
(2) : a clergyman appointed formerly in England to attend condemned criminals
b : a judge of probate in some states of the U.S.
3 often capitalized : the parts of the Mass that do not vary from day to day The "Our Father" is part of the ordinary of the Mass.
4a British : a meal served to all comers at a fixed price
b chiefly British : a tavern or eating house serving regular meals
5 : a common heraldic charge (such as the bend) of simple form (see charge entry 2 sense 7a)

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Other Words from ordinary

Adjective

ordinariness \ ˈȯr-​də-​ˌner-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce ordinariness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for ordinary

Adjective

common, ordinary, plain, familiar, popular, vulgar mean generally met with and not in any way special, strange, or unusual. common implies usual everyday quality or frequency of occurrence a common error lacked common honesty and may additionally suggest inferiority or coarseness. common manners ordinary stresses conformance in quality or kind with the regular order of things. an ordinary pleasant summer day a very ordinary sort of man plain is likely to suggest homely simplicity. plain hard-working people familiar stresses the fact of being generally known and easily recognized. a familiar melody popular applies to what is accepted by or prevalent among people in general sometimes in contrast to upper classes or special groups. a writer of popular romances vulgar, otherwise similar to popular, is likely to carry derogatory connotations (as of inferiority or coarseness). souvenirs designed to appeal to the vulgar taste

Examples of ordinary in a Sentence

Adjective They've had the ordinary problems associated with starting a new business. My wife thought our guide was strange, but he seemed perfectly ordinary to me. The meal was ordinary and uninspired.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective This story is, in a way, about ordinary people but that doesn’t mean that their lives aren’t extraordinary. Ruth Kinane, EW.com, "Kiernan Shipka and Isabela Merced dish on Netflix's new teen holiday flick Let It Snow," 8 Nov. 2019 The conversation was part of the Monitor’s series examining the ways traditional religious codes like the Ten Commandments continue to matter in the lives of ordinary people. Mary Beth Mccauley, The Christian Science Monitor, "One woman embraces Third Commandment in feeding 1,600 at Thanksgiving," 1 Nov. 2019 Studies have shown that ordinary people tend to be sensitive to their country’s reputation, often treating it as a sacred object or being, the dignity and honor of which should be protected. David Banks, The Conversation, "Why doesn’t the US just send Anne Sacoolas back to the UK? Here’s what’s at stake in this dispute over diplomatic immunity," 1 Nov. 2019 Hariri’s resignation stood out as a capitulation to angry street protests recently in a range of countries over basic pocketbook issues and resentment toward a wealthy minority that lives large while ordinary people struggle. BostonGlobe.com, "Lebanon’s prime minister to step down - The Boston Globe," 30 Oct. 2019 Season 2 is about ordinary people dealing with extraordinary circumstances. Staff, USA TODAY, "USA TODAY’s Critically Acclaimed Investigative Podcast “The City” Returns for Season 2 With a Spotlight on the Battle for Reno’s Future," 29 Oct. 2019 Some in BoJack’s world also are talking animals, while others still are ordinary people. Carmel Carrillo, chicagotribune.com, "6 ways ‘BoJack Horseman’ on Netflix portrays an alternate Chicago in Season 6," 28 Oct. 2019 Unlike most other Indian artists of the time, Amrita painted the more difficult parts of the country—the poverty of ordinary people, the heat and the dust. Neha J Hiranandani, Quartz India, "Three female role models for young Indians: an educationist, a writer, and a cleanliness crusader," 16 Oct. 2019 Waymo will begin offering fully driverless rides to ordinary people in the Phoenix area, the company revealed in a Wednesday email to participants of its Early Rider Program. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Waymo tells riders to get ready for fully driverless rides," 10 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ordinary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ordinary

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a(1)

History and Etymology for ordinary

Adjective

Middle English ordinarie, from Latin ordinarius, from ordin-, ordo order

Noun

Middle English ordinarie, from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin ordinarius, from Latin ordinarius, adjective

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Time Traveler for ordinary

Time Traveler

The first known use of ordinary was in the 14th century

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Statistics for ordinary

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Ordinary.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ordinariness. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for ordinary

ordinary

adjective
How to pronounce ordinary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ordinary

: normal or usual : not unusual, different, or special
disapproving : neither very good nor very bad : not very impressive

ordinary

adjective
or·​di·​nary | \ ˈȯr-də-ˌner-ē How to pronounce ordinary (audio) \

Kids Definition of ordinary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to be expected : normal, usual an ordinary day
2 : neither good nor bad : average I was an ordinary student. They're just ordinary people.
3 : not very good : mediocre She gave a very ordinary speech.

ordinary

noun

Kids Definition of ordinary (Entry 2 of 2)

: the conditions or events that are usual or normal It's nothing out of the ordinary.

ordinary

adjective
or·​di·​nary

Legal Definition of ordinary

: of a kind to be expected from the average person or in the normal course of events broadly : of a common kind or degree an ordinary proceeding — compare extraordinary

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