un·​com·​mon | \ ˌən-ˈkä-mən How to pronounce uncommon (audio) \

Definition of uncommon

1 : not ordinarily encountered : unusual an uncommon plant
2 : remarkable, exceptional a soldier of uncommon courage

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Other Words from uncommon

uncommonly adverb
uncommonness \ ˌən-​ˈkä-​mən-​nəs How to pronounce uncommonness (audio) \ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Os trigonum injuries can be difficult to diagnose, especially in sports like football where injuries to the bone are uncommon. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "It's not the problem, but Andrew Luck's injury begs the question: What is an os trigonum?," 14 Aug. 2019 Red wines, made from Gamay or perhaps Pinot Noir, are uncommon. Fortune, "Wine Drinkers Should Pay More Attention to This Lesser-Known Spot in Burgundy," 10 Aug. 2019 But having no fee for cash advances or late payments is uncommon. Edward C. Baig, USA TODAY, "Apple Card: Some people will get invitations to apply but rest broader release later this month," 6 Aug. 2019 Methane is uncommon: whereas the atmosphere currently holds more than 400 molecules of carbon dioxide for every million molecules of air, methane accounts for only two or so out of a million. Rob Jackson, Scientific American, "To Fight Climate Change, We Should Actually Add Carbon Dioxide to the Atmosphere," 31 July 2019 But persistent water quality issues are uncommon, Johnson said. Matthew Pera, The Mercury News, "Tiburon beaches closed amid bay contamination probe," 27 July 2019 Relicts of this setup are still in place on some commercial computer systems: Teletypes are uncommon, but your grocery store receipt, bank statement, or airplane ticket might very well appear from a roll of shiny paper, printed in all caps. Gretchen Mcculloch, WIRED, "The Meaning of All Caps—in Texting and in Life," 23 July 2019 Military flights are not uncommon in the area and have been occurring there since the 1930s, Death Valley National Park spokesman Patrick Taylor said. Phil Helsel, NBC News, "Pilot missing after fighter jet crashes in Death Valley training flight," 1 Aug. 2019 Year to year changes in crime data are not uncommon. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Betty McCollum critical of St. Paul police grant application calling Green Line a crime magnet," 26 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'uncommon.' 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 uncommon

circa 1576, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for uncommon

Last Updated

18 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for uncommon

The first known use of uncommon was circa 1576

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More Definitions for uncommon



English Language Learners Definition of uncommon

: not often found, seen, or experienced
: not ordinary : remarkable or exceptional


un·​com·​mon | \ ˌən-ˈkä-mən How to pronounce uncommon (audio) \

Kids Definition of uncommon

1 : not often found or seen : unusual an uncommon bird
2 : not ordinary : remarkable uncommon ability uncommon courage

Other Words from uncommon

uncommonly adverb It was an uncommonly cold summer.

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More from Merriam-Webster on uncommon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for uncommon

Spanish Central: Translation of uncommon

Nglish: Translation of uncommon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of uncommon for Arabic Speakers

Comments on uncommon

What made you want to look up uncommon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make or get by devious means

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