1

ordinary

play
noun or·di·nary \ ˈȯr-də-ˌner-ē \

Definition of ordinary

plural ordinaries
1 a (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.
4 a 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 1charge 1b)

Origin and Etymology of ordinary

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


2

ordinary

adjective

Definition of ordinary

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
3 a :of common quality, rank, or ability
  • an ordinary teenager
b :deficient in quality :poor, inferior
  • ordinary wine

ordinarily

play \ˌȯr-də-ˈner-ə-lē\ adverb

ordinariness

play \ˈȯr-də-ˌner-ē-nəs\ noun

Examples of ordinary in a Sentence

  1. They've had the ordinary problems associated with starting a new business.

  2. My wife thought our guide was strange, but he seemed perfectly ordinary to me.

  3. The meal was ordinary and uninspired.

Recent Examples of ordinary from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of ordinary

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

Synonym Discussion of ordinary

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


ORDINARY Defined for English Language Learners

ordinary

adjective

Definition of ordinary for English Language Learners

  • : normal or usual : not unusual, different, or special

  • : neither very good nor very bad : not very impressive


ORDINARY Defined for Kids

1

ordinary

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

Definition of ordinary for Students

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.

2

ordinary

noun

Definition of ordinary for Students

:the conditions or events that are usual or normal
  • It's nothing out of the ordinary.

Law Dictionary

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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