un·​com·​mon ˌən-ˈkä-mən How to pronounce uncommon (audio)
: not ordinarily encountered : unusual
an uncommon plant
: remarkable, exceptional
a soldier of uncommon courage
uncommonly adverb
uncommonness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for uncommon

infrequent, uncommon, scarce, rare, sporadic mean not common or abundant.

infrequent implies occurrence at wide intervals in space or time.

infrequent family visits

uncommon suggests a frequency below normal expectation.

smallpox is now uncommon in many countries

scarce implies falling short of a standard or required abundance.

jobs were scarce during the Depression

rare suggests extreme scarcity or infrequency and often implies consequent high value.

rare first editions

sporadic implies occurrence in scattered instances or isolated outbursts.

sporadic cases of influenza

Examples of uncommon in a Sentence

It is not uncommon for people to become depressed after they retire. an athlete with uncommon ability a soldier of uncommon courage She is an uncommon woman.
Recent Examples on the Web On average, November is the rainiest month in Seattle, where snow and sleet are not uncommon during the MLS playoffs. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 25 Nov. 2023 His family worried about him when there were rocket attacks, which were not uncommon. Jay Gray, NBC News, 24 Nov. 2023 Princess Grace would lean into American culture at the holidays and serve turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas, which was uncommon in Europe at the time. Erin Hill, Peoplemag, 8 Nov. 2023 While morning fog is not uncommon in the region this time of the year, this area and nearly the entire state of Louisiana continues to battle relentless drought conditions. Max Golembo, ABC News, 8 Nov. 2023 Union understands that a firm hold styling product for textured hair, with breakthrough ingredients, is uncommon. Essence, 6 Nov. 2023 The fact is, the Carrera was an uncommon sight in its home market as well. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 13 Nov. 2023 And this is not an uncommon occurrence when Black and brown women speak out about content in books. Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 12 Nov. 2023 So, artists who’ve worked in the industry are not uncommon. Steve Baltin, Forbes, 12 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'uncommon.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1576, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of uncommon was circa 1576

Dictionary Entries Near uncommon

Cite this Entry

“Uncommon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uncommon. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


un·​com·​mon ˌən-ˈkäm-ən How to pronounce uncommon (audio)
: not ordinarily found or experienced : unusual
not uncommon to catch a cold
: extraordinary, remarkable, exceptional
has uncommon ability
uncommonly adverb
uncommonness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on uncommon

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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