What does ordinary mean?

Definitions for ordinary
ˈɔr dnˌɛr ior·di·na·ry

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. ordinarynoun

    a judge of a probate court

  2. ordinarynoun

    the expected or commonplace condition or situation

    "not out of the ordinary"

  3. ordinarynoun

    a clergyman appointed to prepare condemned prisoners for death

  4. ordinary, ordinary bicyclenoun

    an early bicycle with a very large front wheel and small back wheel

  5. ordinaryadjective

    (heraldry) any of several conventional figures used on shields

  6. ordinaryadjective

    not exceptional in any way especially in quality or ability or size or degree

    "ordinary everyday objects"; "ordinary decency"; "an ordinary day"; "an ordinary wine"

  7. average, ordinaryadjective

    lacking special distinction, rank, or status; commonly encountered

    "average people"; "the ordinary (or common) man in the street"


  1. ordinarynoun

    A devotional manual.

  2. ordinarynoun

    A rule, or book of rules, prescribing the order of service, especially of Mass.

  3. ordinarynoun

    A person having immediate jurisdiction in a given case of ecclesiastical law, such as the bishop within a diocese.

  4. ordinarynoun

    A set portion of food, later as available for a fixed price at an inn or other eating establishment.

  5. ordinarynoun

    A place where such meals are served; a public tavern, inn.

  6. ordinarynoun

    One of the standard geometric designs placed across the center of a coat of arms, such as a pale or fess.

  7. ordinarynoun

    An ordinary thing or person.

  8. ordinarynoun

    A penny-farthing bicycle.

  9. ordinaryadjective

    Having regular jurisdiction (of a judge; now only used in certain phrases).

  10. ordinaryadjective

    Being part of the natural order of things; normal, customary, routine.

    On an ordinary day I wake up at nine o'clock, work for six hours, and then go to the gym.

  11. ordinaryadjective

    Having no special characteristics or function; everyday, common, mundane (often deprecatory).

  12. ordinaryadjective

    Bad or undesirable.

  13. Ordinarynoun

    The part of the Roman Catholic Mass that is the same every day

  14. Etymology: From ordenaire, ordenarie etc., from ordinarius, from ordo.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Ordinaryadjective

    Etymology: ordinarius, Latin.

    Though in arbitrary governments there may be a body of laws observed in the ordinary forms of justice, they are not sufficient to secure any rights to the people; because they may be dispensed with. Joseph Addison, Freeholder.

    The standing ordinary means of conviction failing to influence them, it is not to be expected that any extraordinary means should be able to do it. Francis Atterbury.

    Yet did she only utter her doubt to her daughters, thinking, since the worst was past, she would attend a further occasion, least over much haste might seem to proceed of the ordinary mislike between sisters in law. Philip Sidney.

    It is sufficient that Moses have the ordinary credit of an historian given him. John Tillotson, Serm. 1.

    This designation of the person our author is more than ordinary obliged to take care of, because he hath made the conveyance, as well as the power itself, sacred. John Locke.

    There is nothing more ordinary than children’s receiving into their minds propositions from their parents; which being fastened by degrees, are at last, whether true or false, riveted there. John Locke.

    Method is not less requisite in ordinary conversation, than in writing. Joseph Addison, Spectator, №. 476.

    These are the paths wherein ye have walked, that are of the ordinary sort of men; these are the very steps ye have trodden, and the manifest degrees whereby ye are of your guides and directors trained up in that school. Richard Hooker.

    Men of common capacity, and but ordinary judgment, are not able to discern what things are fittest for each kind and state of regiment. Richard Hooker, b. i. s. 10.

    Every ordinary reader, upon the publishing of a new poem, has will and ill-nature enough to turn several passages of it into ridicule, and very often in the right place. Addison.

    My speculations, when sold single, are delights for the rich and wealthy; after some time they come to the market in great quantities, and are every ordinary man’s money. Joseph Addison, Spectator, №. 488.

    You will wonder how such an ordinary fellow as Wood, could get his majesty’s broad seal. Jonathan Swift.

  2. Ordinarynoun

    The evil will
    Of all their parishioners they had constrain’d,
    Who to the ordinary of them complain’d. Hubberd.

    If fault be in these things any where justly found, law hath refered the whole disposition and redress thereof to the ordinary of the place. Richard Hooker, b. v. s. 12.

    Spain had no other wars save those which were grown into an ordinary; now they have coupled therewith the extraordinary of the Valtoline and Palatinate. Francis Bacon.

    Villiers had an intimation of the king’s pleasure to be his cup-bearer at large; and the summer following he was admitted in ordinary. Henry Wotton.

    Our courteous Antony,
    Being barber’d ten times o’er, goes to the feast;
    And for his ordinary pays his heart
    For what his eyes eat only. William Shakespeare, Ant. and Cleopat.

    They reckon all their errors for accomplishments; and all the odd words they have picked up in a coffee-house, or a gaming ordinary, are produced as flowers of style. Jonathan Swift.


  1. Ordinary

    For the Train song, see Ordinary (Train song) "Ordinary" is the first single released off Wayne Bradys first album, A Long Time Coming released on August 19, 2008, peaking at number 41 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. This song is covered from 2005 TVXQ'S Beautiful Life from the album Rising Sun


  1. ordinary

    Ordinary refers to something or someone that is common, regular, or average, without any distinguishing features, qualities, or characteristics that set them apart from others. It can also imply something that is customary, standard, or expected in a given context or situation.


  1. Ordinary

    An ordinary is an officer of a church or civic authority who by reason of office has ordinary power to execute laws. Such officers are found in hierarchically organised churches of Western Christianity which have an ecclesiastical law system. In the Episcopal Church, for example, an ordinary is a diocesan bishop. In Eastern Christianity, a corresponding officer is called a hierarch. Within civic governance, notably in the southern United States, the role of the county ordinary historically involved the discharge of certain, often legal or legally related, tasks falling to city or county authorities, such as licensing marriages and adjudicating claims against an authority.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Ordinary

    or′di-na-ri, adj. according to the common order: usual: of common rank: plain: of little merit: (coll.) plain-looking.—n. a judge of ecclesiastical or other causes who acts in his own right: something settled or customary: actual office: a bishop or his deputy: a place where regular meals are provided at fixed charges: the common run or mass: (her.) one of a class of armorial charges, called also honourable ordinaries, figures of simple outline and geometrical form, conventional in character—chief, pale, fess, bend, bend-sinister, chevron, cross, saltire, pile, pall, bordure, orle, tressure, canton, flanches.—adv. Or′dinarily.—Ordinary of the mass, the established sequence or fixed order for saying mass.—In ordinary, in regular and customary attendance.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. ordinary

    The establishment of the persons formerly employed to take charge of the ships of war which are laid up in ordinary at several harbours adjacent to the royal dockyards. These duties are now under the superintendent of the dockyard. Also, the state of such men-of-war and vessels as are out of commission and laid up.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'ordinary' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1589

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'ordinary' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1339

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'ordinary' in Adjectives Frequency: #182

How to pronounce ordinary?

How to say ordinary in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of ordinary in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of ordinary in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of ordinary in a Sentence

  1. Joe Biden:

    Donald Trump thinks Wall Street built America ; ordinary middle class Americans built America, too many people in the middle class have seen the bottom fall out. ... Look, Donald Trump put Joe Biden in a horrible situation. Joe Biden do have enormous income inequality. The one thing I agree on is Joe Biden can make massive cuts in the $ 1.6 billion in tax loopholes and I would be going about eliminating Donald Trump's tax cut for the wealthy.

  2. Steve Abrams:

    Think of the most commonly used ingredients — chicken and garlic — people use them to just get dinner on the table. What Watson does, is take that information and give you something out of the ordinary, i think everybody recognizes the accomplishments of Watson from ‘Jeopardy,’ but this helps you in your own personal life.

  3. Augustine Birrell:

    Any ordinary man can...surround himself with two thousand books...and thenceforward have at least one place in the world in which it is possible to be happy.

  4. Esther Sung:

    We wanted to illustrate how these programs are being used by ordinary Americans in the United States, all of these programs, I think, are pretty unique in modern day immigration policy in that they allow the American public to interact with the immigration system in a way that people otherwise would n’t. I think our intervenors demonstrate the breadth and range of types of people who can and want to engage with the immigration system.

  5. Nelson Lichtenstein:

    Large American unions have supported labor movements in a few parts of the world over the years but not in China, so this is out of the ordinary.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for ordinary

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"ordinary." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/ordinary>.

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    cause to spread or flush or flood through, over, or across
    A caddie
    B exacerbate
    C suffuse
    D huff

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