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 ordinary (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 Two childhood best friends reunite as an unlikely crime-fighting superhero duo when one invents a formula that gives ordinary people superpowers. Jacob Siegal, BGR, "Everything coming and going on Netflix: Week of April 4th," 4 Apr. 2021 But President Biden has introduced a new one: that the rich got windfalls during the pandemic while ordinary people suffered. Donald L. Luskin, WSJ, "Corporate Covid ‘Windfalls’ Are a Myth," 31 Mar. 2021 The prosecution has attempted to portray the bystanders as ordinary people who were scared and presented no danger to the officers. New York Times, "‘It Wasn’t Right’: Young Witnesses Offer Emotional Testimony in Chauvin Trial," 30 Mar. 2021 The characters are often voiced not by actors but by ordinary people with a connection to whatever neighborhood the intrepid researchers are visiting. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "Michelle Obama’s Lesson to Kids: You Are What You Watch," 29 Mar. 2021 For each vaccine supplied to a participant, the IOC will pay for two more doses for ordinary people in that country. Washington Post, "A quiet Olympic torch relay kicks off from a once devastated Japanese region," 25 Mar. 2021 This is a book that draws on academic research but is written for ordinary people. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Jana Riess: The ‘nones’ are growing — and growing more diverse," 25 Mar. 2021 Like other mass shootings, the victims in Monday's attack were just ordinary people going about their daily lives from a 20-year-old grocery store clerk to a soon-to-be grandfather. NBC News, "Mass shootings offer bleak return to 'normal' in America, Capitol rioters' Trump contributions and a Suez-sized traffic jam," 24 Mar. 2021 For Smith, the wealth of a nation lay in its potential for consumption by the great mass of ordinary people. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "Putting the Grift in ESG," 20 Mar. 2021

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

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ordinary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ordinary. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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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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