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

Travel between Florida and the Bahamas is nothing out of the ordinary, Christine Vassallo-Oby, a clinical assistant professor at the Department of Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. Latino studies at the University of Albany, tells TIME. Sanya Mansoor, Time, "After Dorian Survivors Are Kicked Off Rescue Ship, U.S. Border Patrol Says All Bahamians Welcome — Except Those Who Aren't," 9 Sep. 2019 So far, so ordinary, for scripture is filled with brahmanas asking to be fed. Girish Shahane, Quartz India, "The Amazon fires have a 3,000-year-old parallel in the Indian epic Mahabharata," 30 Aug. 2019 For something out of the ordinary, try the Beirut omelet stuffed with juicy kafta, feta cheese, sautéed onion, and black olives, served with traditional date nut bread. al, "Where to get the city’s best Italian and Mediterranean food," 26 Aug. 2019 The starting point of the film is that, in 2018, cremations overtook ordinary, mostly very expensive burials in America. E.h., The Economist, "A new documentary shows how attitudes to death are changing in America," 14 Aug. 2019 His book is an unusual addition to a growing canon that seeks to explain why, for many ordinary people, the American Dream has come to seem out of reach. The Economist, "Nicholas Lemann traces the history of American corporations," 14 Sep. 2019 Everyone up here favors magazine limitations, which, by the way, would have made a huge difference if that was in place in El Paso, in that store, where all those ordinary people showed such extraordinary courage. NBC News, "Full transcript: Democratic debate in Houston," 13 Sep. 2019 But rules introduced as a safeguard have become a costly trap for ordinary people, The New York Times found. Grace Ashford, New York Times, "The Law Was Aimed at Deadly Machinery. It Hit Her Washer.," 9 Sep. 2019 The one thing that ordinary people on all sides of the conflicts would agree on, rightly or wrongly, is the belief that the Israelis were behind the whole lot. Sam Kiley, CNN, "Israel is making the case for war, in public, against Lebanon," 30 Aug. 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

21 Oct 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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