What does Common mean?

Definitions for Common
ˈkɒm əncom·mon

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Common.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. park, commons, common, greenadjective

    a piece of open land for recreational use in an urban area

    "they went for a walk in the park"

  2. commonadjective

    belonging to or participated in by a community as a whole; public

    "for the common good"; "common lands are set aside for use by all members of a community"

  3. commonadjective

    having no special distinction or quality; widely known or commonly encountered; average or ordinary or usual

    "the common man"; "a common sailor"; "the common cold"; "a common nuisance"; "followed common procedure"; "it is common knowledge that she lives alone"; "the common housefly"; "a common brand of soap"

  4. common, mutualadjective

    common to or shared by two or more parties

    "a common friend"; "the mutual interests of management and labor"

  5. common, usualadjective

    commonly encountered

    "a common (or familiar) complaint"; "the usual greeting"

  6. common, vernacular, vulgaradjective

    being or characteristic of or appropriate to everyday language

    "common parlance"; "a vernacular term"; "vernacular speakers"; "the vulgar tongue of the masses"; "the technical and vulgar names for an animal species"

  7. common, plebeian, vulgar, unwashedadjective

    of or associated with the great masses of people

    "the common people in those days suffered greatly"; "behavior that branded him as common"; "his square plebeian nose"; "a vulgar and objectionable person"; "the unwashed masses"

  8. coarse, commonadjective

    of low or inferior quality or value

    "of what coarse metal ye are molded"- Shakespeare; "produced...the common cloths used by the poorer population"

  9. coarse, common, rough-cut, uncouth, vulgaradjective

    lacking refinement or cultivation or taste

    "he had coarse manners but a first-rate mind"; "behavior that branded him as common"; "an untutored and uncouth human being"; "an uncouth soldier--a real tough guy"; "appealing to the vulgar taste for violence"; "the vulgar display of the newly rich"

  10. commonadjective

    to be expected; standard

    "common decency"


  1. commonnoun

    Mutual good, shared by more than one.

  2. commonnoun

    A tract of land in common ownership; common land.

  3. commonverb

    To communicate (something).

  4. commonverb

    To converse, talk.

  5. commonverb

    To have sex.

  6. commonadjective

    Mutual; shared by more than one.

  7. commonadjective

    Occurring or happening regularly or frequently; usual.

    It is common to find sharks off this coast.

  8. commonadjective

    Found in large numbers or in a large quantity.

    Sharks are common in these waters.

  9. commonadjective

    Simple, ordinary or vulgar.

  10. commonadjective

    In some languages, particularly Germanic languages, of the gender originating from the coalescence of the masculine and feminine categories of nouns.

  11. commonadjective

    Of or pertaining to uncapitalized nouns in English, i.e., common nouns vs. proper nouns

  12. commonadjective

    vernacular, referring to the name of a kind of plant or animal, i.e., common name vs. scientific name

  13. Etymology: From comun, from comun, from comun (rare in Gallo-Romance. Reinforced as a Carolingian calque of gemeini, gamaini "common" in) from communis, from ko-moin-i. Displaced native imene (from gemæne), mene (also from gemæne), samen (from samen).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Commonadverb

    Commonly; ordinarily.

    Etymology: from the adjective.

    I am more than common tall. William Shakespeare, As you like it.

  2. COMMONnoun

    Etymology: communis, Latin.

    Though life and sense be common to man and brutes, and their operations in many things alike; yet by this form he lives the life of a man, and not of a brute, and hath the sense of a man, and not of a brute. Matthew Hale, Origin of Mankind.

    He who hath received damage, has, besides the right of punishment common to him with other men, a particular right to seek reparation. John Locke.

    Where no kindred are to be found, we see the possession of a private man revert to the community, and so become again perfectly common, no body having a right to inherit them; nor can any one have a property in them, otherwise than in other things common by nature. John Locke.

    Or as the man whom princes do advance,
    Upon their gracious mercy-seat to sit,
    Doth common things, of course and circumstance,
    To the reports of common men commit. Davies.

    He was advised by a parliament-man not to be strict in reading all the common prayer, but make some variation. Izaak Walton.

    I need not mention the old common shore of Rome, which ran from all parts of the town, with the current and violence of an ordinary river. Joseph Addison, on Italy.

    Look, as I blow this feather from my face,
    And as the air blows it to me again,
    Such is the lightness of you common men. William Shakespeare, Henry VI.

    Flying bullets now,
    To execute his rage, appear too slow;
    They miss, or sweep but common souls away,
    For such a loss Opdam his life must pay. Edmund Waller.

    There is an evil which I have seen common among men. Eccles. vi. 1.

    The Papists were the most common place, and the butt against whom all the arrows were directed. Edward Hyde.

    Neither is it strange that there should be mysteries in divinity, as well as in the commonest operations in nature. Jonathan Swift.

    ’Tis a strange thing, the impudence of some women! was the word of a dame, who herself was common. Roger L'Estrange.

    Hipparchus was going to marry a common woman, but consulted Philander upon the occasion. Spectator, №. 475.

  3. Commonnoun

    An open ground equally used by many persons.

    Etymology: from the adjective.

    Then take we down his load, and turn him off,
    Like to the empty ass, to shake his ears,
    And graze in commons. William Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar.

    Is not the separate property of a thing the great cause of its endearment? Does any one respect a common as much as he does his garden? South.

  4. To Commonverb

    To have a joint right with others in some common ground.

    Etymology: from the noun.


  1. common

    A general definition of "common" is something that is prevalent, widely occurring, or shared by many or by the majority of people. It can refer to attributes, characteristics, or traits that are ordinary, usual, or typical. Additionally, "common" can describe something that is familiar, easily accessible, or found in abundance.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Common

    belonging or relating equally, or similarly, to more than one; as, you and I have a common interest in the property

  2. Common

    belonging to or shared by, affecting or serving, all the members of a class, considered together; general; public; as, properties common to all plants; the common schools; the Book of Common Prayer

  3. Common

    often met with; usual; frequent; customary

  4. Common

    not distinguished or exceptional; inconspicuous; ordinary; plebeian; -- often in a depreciatory sense

  5. Common

    profane; polluted

  6. Common

    given to habits of lewdness; prostitute

  7. Commonnoun

    the people; the community

  8. Commonnoun

    an inclosed or uninclosed tract of ground for pleasure, for pasturage, etc., the use of which belongs to the public; or to a number of persons

  9. Commonnoun

    the right of taking a profit in the land of another, in common either with the owner or with other persons; -- so called from the community of interest which arises between the claimant of the right and the owner of the soil, or between the claimants and other commoners entitled to the same right

  10. Commonverb

    to converse together; to discourse; to confer

  11. Commonverb

    to participate

  12. Commonverb

    to have a joint right with others in common ground

  13. Commonverb

    to board together; to eat at a table in common


  1. Common

    Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., better known by his stage name Common, is an American hip-hop recording artist and actor from Chicago, Illinois. Common debuted in 1992 with the album Can I Borrow a Dollar? and maintained a significant underground following into the late 1990s, after which he gained notable mainstream success through his work with the Soulquarians. His first major-label album, Like Water for Chocolate, received widespread critical acclaim and tremendous commercial success. His first Grammy award was in 2003 for Best R&B Song for "Love of My Life" with Erykah Badu. Its popularity was matched by May 2005's Be, which was nominated in the 2006 Grammy Awards for Best Rap Album. Common was awarded his second Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, for "Southside", from his July 2007 album Finding Forever. His best-of album, Thisisme Then: The Best of Common, was released on November 27, 2007. Common has also initiated a burgeoning acting career, starring significant roles in such films as Smokin' Aces, Street Kings, American Gangster, Wanted, Terminator Salvation, Date Night, Just Wright, Happy Feet Two, and New Year's Eve. He also narrated the award-winning documentary Bouncing Cats, about one man's efforts to improve the lives of children in Uganda through hip-hop/b-boy culture. He currently stars as Elam Ferguson on the AMC western television series Hell on Wheels.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Common

    kom′un, adj. belonging equally to more than one: public: general: usual: frequent: ordinary: easy to be had: of little value: vulgar: of low degree.—n. (Shak.) the commonalty: a tract of open land, used in common by the inhabitants of a town, parish, &c.—v.i. (Shak.) to share.—adj. Common′able, held in common.—ns. Comm′onage, right of pasturing on a common: the right of using anything in common: a common; Comm′onalty, the general body of the people without any distinction of rank or authority; Comm′oner, one of the common people, as opposed to the nobles: a member of the House of Commons: at Oxford, a student who pays for his commons.—adv. Comm′only.—ns. Comm′onness; Comm′onplace, a common topic or subject: a platitude: a memorandum: a note.—adj. common: hackneyed.—v.i. to make notes: to put in a commonplace-book.—n. Comm′onplace-book, a note or memorandum book.—n.pl. Comm′ons, the common people: their representatives—i.e. the lower House of Parliament or House of Commons: common land: food at a common table: at Oxford, rations served at a fixed rate from the college buttery: food in general, rations.—n. Comm′on-sense, average understanding: good sense or practical sagacity: the opinion of a community: the universally admitted impressions of mankind.—Common Bench, Common Pleas, one of the divisions of the High Court of Justice; Common forms, the ordinary clauses which are of frequent occurrence in identical terms in writs and deeds; Common law, in England, the ancient customary law of the land; Common Prayer (Book of), the liturgy of the Church of England; Common-riding, the Scotch equivalent of Beating the Bounds (see Beat); Common room, in schools, colleges, &c., a room to which the members have common access.—In common, together: equally with others.—Make common cause with, to cast in one's lot with: to have the same interests and aims with.—Philosophy of common-sense, that school of philosophy which takes the universally admitted impressions of mankind as corresponding to the facts of things without any further scrutiny.—Short commons, scant fare, insufficient supply of rations.—The common, that which is common or usual; The common good, the interest of the community at large: the corporate property of a burgh in Scotland; The common people, the people in general. [Fr. commun—L. communis, prob. from com, together, and munis, serving, obliging.]

Editors Contribution

  1. common

    To have an equal aspiration, goal, task, idea or responsibility.

    They have a common bond together, their love, unity, fun, family values, goals and aspirations that has created their goal of marriage for eternity.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 15, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. common

    Song lyrics by common -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by common on the Lyrics.com website.


  1. Common

    of frequent occurrence: occurring on two adjacent parts: a band or fascia is common when it crosses both primaries and secondaries.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Common is ranked #33856 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Common surname appeared 672 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Common.

    63.5% or 427 total occurrences were White.
    32.7% or 220 total occurrences were Black.
    1.9% or 13 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1.3% or 9 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Common' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #495

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Common' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1101

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Common' in Adjectives Frequency: #58

How to pronounce Common?

How to say Common in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Common in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Common in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of Common in a Sentence

  1. Republican Jeb Hensarling of Texas:

    This move – which will apply to some of the most common financial contracts including credit cards, checking accounts, and even cell phones – essentially hands over the keys of the CFPB’s luxury office building to the wealthy, powerful, and politically well-connected trial lawyer lobby.

  2. John Britton:

    What's happening in the U.S. is not happening here (in Britain), nor is it happening in any other countries where vaping is common, it's a localised problem.

  3. Joe Biden:

    The idea an 18-year-old can buy weapons of war designed and marketed to kill is, I think, just wrong. It just violates common sense.

  4. Frank Fritz:

    The guy that connects with me is the guy who buys a 30 pack of Busch Light and a pizza on the weekend. That’s my guy. My guy buys a $150 sign, not an $8,000 sign. I’m more of the common man guy, I haven’t found a $100,000 vase or any Michelangelo stuff. I’ve never really had a big, big score like that. But all the small scores are the bread and butter and that’s my deal.

  5. Rachel Landman:

    VW Kombi are no longer common in Uganda, they ceased to be used as taxis and buses in 2000.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Common

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • مشتركArabic
  • уртаҡBashkir
  • агу́льныBelarusian
  • разпространен, обикновен, общBulgarian
  • comú, comunaCatalan, Valencian
  • běžný, obvyklý, obyčejný, společnýCzech
  • comminsWelsh
  • sædvanlig, fælles, fælleskøn, almindelig, vanlig, fælledDanish
  • gemeinschaftlich, häufig, gemein, Gemein-, gewöhnlich, nicht ungewöhnlich, gemeinsam, verbreitetGerman
  • κοινόςGreek
  • comúnSpanish
  • شایع, رایج, معمولی, معمول, مشترکPersian
  • yhteismaa, yleinen, tavallinen, yhteisomaisuus, yhteinenFinnish
  • commune, commun, ordinaireFrench
  • coiteannIrish
  • àbhaisteach, cumanta, coitcheannScottish Gaelic
  • comúnGalician
  • שכיח, רגילה, משותפת, נפוצה, משותף, נפוץ, רגיל, שכיחהHebrew
  • közönségesHungarian
  • սովորական, հասարակArmenian
  • communInterlingua
  • umumIndonesian
  • komuna, ordinaraIdo
  • grossolano, grossolana, comune, volgare, ordinario, ordinariaItalian
  • 通常, 相互, 共通Japanese
  • 상호, 통상Korean
  • communisLatin
  • sama, biasaMalay
  • gemeen, gewone, veelvoorkomend, gemeengoed, gemene, commuun, meent, gewoonDutch
  • vanlig, felleskjønnNorwegian
  • comunOccitan
  • powszechny, pospolity, zwyczajny, zwykły, męsko-żeński, powszedni, wspólnyPolish
  • comumPortuguese
  • obișnuit, comun, uzualRomanian
  • обычный, повседневный, взаимный, обыкновенный, простой, повсеместный, общий род, распространённый, обыденный, общийRussian
  • skúpenSlovene
  • allmän, gemensam, vanlig, allmänning, utrumSwedish
  • సామాన్య, మామూలుTelugu
  • загальнийUkrainian
  • عامUrdu
  • thường, chung, bình thường, thông thườngVietnamese
  • 常见Chinese

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"Common." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 3 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Common>.

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1 Comment
  • Sana Maty
    Sana Maty
    LikeReply9 years ago

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lacking orderly continuity
  • A. aligned
  • B. disjointed
  • C. occasional
  • D. whirring

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