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 ordinary We 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

Indeed, Roger Williams looked like an ordinary middle school when a Globe reporter spent the day with students Thursday. Dan Mcgowan, BostonGlobe.com, "Their middle school has a bad reputation. But these Providence students are trying to change that.," 6 Sep. 2019 Still, the damage was far less than feared in many parts of the Carolinas, including historic Charleston, South Carolina, which is prone to flooding even from ordinary storms, and Wilmington, North Carolina, the state’s biggest coastal city. Washington Post, "Dorian’s floodwaters trap people in attics in North Carolina," 6 Sep. 2019 Still, the damage was far less than feared in many parts of the Carolinas, including historic Charleston, South Carolina, which is prone to flooding even from ordinary storms, and Wilmington, North Carolina, the state's biggest coastal city. Ben Finley, Anchorage Daily News, "Dorian’s floodwaters trap people in attics on North Carolina’s Outer Banks," 6 Sep. 2019 Charleston sits on a peninsula that is prone to flooding even from ordinary storms. Fox News, "Charleston, S.C., mayor: Dorian flooding impact 'significant,' but 'not as a significant as we thought they would be'," 6 Sep. 2019 Gottlieb’s book is barely about romantic love at all, focused instead on how people relate to themselves, how grief and trauma and the ordinary knocks of childhood shape perception and impose patterns. Margaret Lyons, New York Times, "On ‘Couples Therapy,’ Domestic Angst is Raw and Delicious," 5 Sep. 2019 The combination of shear and instability that a hurricane offers still produces small supercell storms that are more likely to spawn tornadoes than ordinary thunderstorm cells, NOAA said. Jason Hanna, CNN, "Why tornadoes are among a hurricane's potent threats," 5 Sep. 2019 Because life is really great, sometimes very ordinary and sometimes really hard. Erika Butler, baltimoresun.com, "Nine Harford children to appear in National Down Symdrome Society’s Times Square video," 4 Sep. 2019 Exasperation with their neighbours’ perceived inability to put the past behind them is spreading from diplomats to ordinary Japanese. L.s. | Seoul, The Economist, "Why Japan and South Korea bicker," 3 Sep. 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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Statistics for ordinary

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for ordinary

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

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More Definitions for ordinary

ordinary

adjective

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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