ordinary

noun
or·di·nary | \ˈȯr-də-ˌner-ē \
plural ordinaries

Definition of ordinary 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a(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.

2 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.

3 : 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.

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 1 sense 1b)

ordinary

adjective

Definition of ordinary (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of a kind to be expected in the normal order of events : routine, usual an ordinary day

2 : having or constituting immediate or original jurisdiction also : belonging to such jurisdiction

3a : of common quality, rank, or ability an ordinary teenager

b : deficient in quality : poor, inferior ordinary wine

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Other Words from ordinary

Adjective

ordinarily \ˌȯr-də-ˈner-ə-lē \ adverb
ordinariness \ˈȯr-də-ˌner-ē-nəs \ 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

Women running this year fit no one model, each presenting themselves as ordinary people with varying backgrounds, just like voters. Mary Jordan, Anchorage Daily News, "Women candidates find their weapon: a viral ad that captures their 'magic'," 8 July 2018 What makes one door memorable and extra-ordinary, while others remain humdrum? Country Living, "YOUR HOME DESERVES MORE THAN ORDINARY DOORS," 19 June 2018 Laura Clark, executive director of YIMBY Action, a nonprofit that endorsed Breed, says more ordinary workers at tech companies, including sales, marketing, and customer-service employees, are also hurt by the housing crunch. Nitasha Tiku, WIRED, "How Tech Shaped San Francisco’s Unresolved Mayor’s Race," 11 June 2018 That’s 16 times faster than the growth in average salary for ordinary Americans. Chris Chase, For The Win, "6 of the most-asked sports questions, answered," 18 Apr. 2018 Order at the counter and get ready for the ordinary. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "Review: Get the South out of your mouth at Hoppin’ John," 5 July 2018 Holiday or not, this is their ordinary, this 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies before an announced crowd of 30,943 at Citizens Bank Park. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles undone by Davis' two-run error, quiet offense in 4-1 loss to Phillies," 4 July 2018 The 6-1, 170-pound Barrington resident regularly made difficult plays look ordinary while patrolling center field. Jon J. Kerr, chicagotribune.com, "Pioneer Press 2018 All-Area baseball First Team," 21 June 2018 My friends’ fathers were present but seemed ordinary in comparison. New York Times, "What My Father Gave Me," 16 June 2018

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

Noun

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

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ordinary

Noun

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

Adjective

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

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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

: neither very good nor very bad : not very impressive

ordinary

adjective
or·di·nary | \ˈȯr-də-ˌner-ē \

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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