What does ordinary mean?

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

Here are all the possible meanings 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

    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. Debasish Mridha, M.D.:

    Life is never ordinary, it is always a wonder, it is always magical.

  2. Henry Cuellar:

    I'm one of the best fundraisers in Washington, and she outraised me. In ordinary times, that wouldn't have happened, over the course of the last two elections, radical special interest groups spent over $10 million in an attempt to push their out-of-touch, New York values on Texans. But you, the voters, stopped them.

  3. Niliflash:

    A cat is an ordinary pet in the sight of those who don't know what it takes.

  4. Jeremy Hunt:

    Had the establishment listened when ordinary families raised concerns... many of those deaths would not have happened.

  5. Deepak Chopra:

    Ordinary people aren't going to give up emotions and inspiration just because science sniffs at subjectivity. Science shouldn't be so edgy and defensive. Vandals aren't going to smash their way into laboratories and throw Bibles at the equipment.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for ordinary

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    long and thin and often limp
    • A. irascible
    • B. lank
    • C. tantamount
    • D. valetudinarian

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