ordinary

noun
or·​di·​nary | \ ˈȯr-də-ˌner-ē How to pronounce ordinary (audio) \
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 How to pronounce ordinarily (audio) \ adverb
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

Renee is an ordinary gal who struggles with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the feature and TV films airing the week of Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019," 11 Aug. 2019 Eclipsed is a unique story about an ordinary family. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "People Think that Tom Holland’s Dad Was Trying to Shade His Son’s Success," 9 Aug. 2019 There’s nothing ordinary about a meal at Jeune et Jolie, the chic and charming nouvelle French restaurant in Carlsbad that’s on everyone’s short list for best new restaurant of the year. Michele Parente, San Diego Union-Tribune, "TGIM: Jeune et Jolie serving up special Monday menu," 8 Aug. 2019 These parts are all made of ordinary stuff, nothing extravagant. Janet Eastman, oregonlive.com, "Celebrating architect Pietro Belluschi’s 120th anniversary: Building tours, book talk and dinner in his home," 8 Aug. 2019 America has been careful to state that the new measure does not apply to humanitarian aid or telecoms, which would hurt ordinary Venezuelans. The Economist, "America heaps more sanctions on Venezuela," 8 Aug. 2019 Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark PG13 Sarah Bellows is no ordinary teen. Guy Hanford, Ramona Sentinel, "Flickers: ‘Brian Banks’ and ‘The Kitchen’ open Friday," 8 Aug. 2019 No ordinary ferry terminal Tourists flocking to Alcatraz may face disruptions later this year as San Francisco’s ferry terminal serving the island undergoes a massive, $34 million renovation. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: Gilroy, El Paso, now Dayton," 5 Aug. 2019 And then there’s the hedge labyrinth and roofless church—hints that this isn’t just any ordinary rural community. Diana Budds, Curbed, "This small Indiana town is a hotbed of utopianism," 5 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

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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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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Comments on ordinary

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