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 But when the challenges shift from ordinary to extraordinary, cracks within the system are exposed, demands on leadership rise and the government's competence is rightly called into question. Dan Balz, Anchorage Daily News, "Crisis exposes how America has hollowed out its government," 17 May 2020 Those are ordinary acts in any given time, but not during these times. Cnn Staff, CNN, "Jason Alexander tells 2020 grads: You are heroes," 16 May 2020 But as the pain grows for ordinary workers, executive pay — a divisive issue in an age of extraordinary inequality — has come to the fore once again. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "CEO pay at Tenet Healthcare, Kroger, other firms come under microscope as companies cut costs," 15 May 2020 That’s a function of the visual acuity of an ordinary eye with 20-20 vision, Bathiche said, at some arbitrary distance—in this case, at about a foot from the display. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Why you may never see a 4K Microsoft Surface display," 15 May 2020 Would confinement amplify small fractures in ordinary marriages, including my own? Pamela Druckerman, The New York Review of Books, "Pandemic Marriage, Ménage, & Me," 12 May 2020 As a result, birdwatching, a popular hobby under ordinary circumstances, has gained more participants lately. Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "From hummingbirds to warblers: What to know to start backyard birding in metro Phoenix," 12 May 2020 This should allow a landlord to address conditions that materially affect the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant. Houston Apartment Association, Houston Chronicle, "What should area apartment residents should be aware of during COVID-19 outbreak?," 9 May 2020 But four months of observations revealed the star system might not be an ordinary binary star system. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "This Is the Closest Black Hole We've Ever Discovered," 7 May 2020

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

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ordinary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ordinary. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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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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