ordinary 1 of 2

as in normal
being of the type that is encountered in the normal course of events it was a perfectly ordinary and undistinguished shirt

Synonyms & Similar Words


Antonyms & Near Antonyms



2 of 2


Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective ordinary contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of ordinary are common, familiar, plain, popular, and vulgar. While all these words mean "generally met with and not in any way special, strange, or unusual," ordinary stresses conformance in quality or kind with the regular order of things.

an ordinary pleasant summer day
a very ordinary sort of man

When would common be a good substitute for ordinary?

While in some cases nearly identical to ordinary, common implies usual everyday quality or frequency of occurrence and may additionally suggest inferiority or coarseness.

a common error
lacked common honesty
common manners

When is it sensible to use familiar instead of ordinary?

Although the words familiar and ordinary have much in common, familiar stresses the fact of being generally known and easily recognized.

a familiar melody

Where would plain be a reasonable alternative to ordinary?

The words plain and ordinary can be used in similar contexts, but plain is likely to suggest homely simplicity.

plain hard-working people

In what contexts can popular take the place of ordinary?

While the synonyms popular and ordinary are close in meaning, 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

How do vulgar and popular relate to one another, in the sense of ordinary?

Vulgar, otherwise similar to popular, is likely to carry derogatory connotations (as of inferiority or coarseness).

souvenirs designed to appeal to the vulgar taste

Thesaurus Entries Near ordinary

Cite this Entry

“Ordinary.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/ordinary. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

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