- of no special quality or interest; commonplace; unexceptional: One novel is brilliant, the other is decidedly ordinary; an ordinary person.
- plain or undistinguished: ordinary clothes.
- somewhat inferior or below average; mediocre.
- customary; usual; normal: We plan to do the ordinary things this weekend.
- Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. common, vulgar, or disreputable.
- (of jurisdiction) immediate, as contrasted with something that is delegated.
- (of officials) belonging to the regular staff or the fully recognized class.
- the commonplace or average condition, degree, etc.: ability far above the ordinary.
- something regular, customary, or usual.
- an order or form for divine service, especially that for saying Mass.
- the service of the Mass exclusive of the canon.
- History/Historical. a member of the clergy appointed to prepare condemned prisoners for death.
- English Ecclesiastical Law. a bishop, archbishop, or other ecclesiastic or his deputy, in his capacity as an ex officio ecclesiastical authority.
- (in some U.S. states) a judge of a court of probate.
- British. (in a restaurant or inn) a complete meal in which all courses are included at one fixed price, as opposed to à la carte service.
- a restaurant, public house, or dining room serving all guests and customers the same standard meal or fare.
- any of the simplest and commonest charges, usually having straight or broadly curved edges.
- honorable ordinary.
- in ordinary, in regular service: a physician in ordinary to the king.
- out of the ordinary,
- exceptional; unusual: Having triplets is certainly out of the ordinary.
- exceptionally good; unusually good: The food at this restaurant is truly out of the ordinary.
Origin of ordinary
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ordinary
There was nothing out of the ordinary, but for the fact that Jim was gay.I Was Gang Raped at a UVA Frat 30 Years Ago, and No One Did Anything
December 16, 2014
The Rizzoli in New York City was no ordinary bookstore in its seventies heyday.The Bookstore That Bewitched Mick Jagger, John Lennon, and Greta Garbo
December 16, 2014
They refused to believe that ordinary humans could beat them at their own game.‘Asteroids’ & The Dawn of the Gamer Age
November 29, 2014
At the White House on Monday, Obama praised Hagel as “no ordinary secretary of defense.”Hagel Takes a Bullet for Obama: Inside the Defense Secretary’s Sudden Firing
Shane Harris, Tim Mak
November 24, 2014
Food is becoming scarce, which has led to prices increasing beyond the reach of ordinary people.Fighting Ebola and Starvation in Sierra Leone
November 5, 2014
“And so I have,” said Randall with something of his ordinary humour.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
Are they not sufficiently well paid to have the ordinary comforts of life?Ester Ried Yet Speaking
But the ways of the police are not always those of ordinary decency.
At least, she had kept him from the outrageous folly of an ordinary burglary.
But, in spite of these ordinary defects, he was fond of his work and wishful to excel in it.
- of common or established type or occurrence
- familiar, everyday, or unexceptional
- uninteresting or commonplace
- having regular or ex officio jurisdictionan ordinary judge
- maths (of a differential equation) containing two variables only and derivatives of one of the variables with respect to the other
- a common or average situation, amount, or degree (esp in the phrase out of the ordinary)
- a normal or commonplace person or thing
- civil law a judge who exercises jurisdiction in his own right
- (usually capital) an ecclesiastic, esp a bishop, holding an office to which certain jurisdictional powers are attached
- RC Church
- the parts of the Mass that do not vary from day to dayCompare proper (def. 13)
- a prescribed form of divine service, esp the Mass
- the US name for penny-farthing
- heraldry any of several conventional figures, such as the bend, the fesse, and the cross, commonly charged upon shields
- history a clergyman who visited condemned prisoners before their death
- British obsolete
- a meal provided regularly at a fixed price
- the inn providing such meals
- in ordinary British (used esp in titles) in regular service or attendancephysician in ordinary to the sovereign
Word Origin and History for ordinary
early 15c., "belonging to the usual order or course," from Old French ordinarie "ordinary, usual" and directly from Latin ordinarius "customary, regular, usual, orderly," from ordo (genitive ordinis) "order" (see order (n.)). Its various noun usages, dating to late 14c. and common until 19c., now largely extinct except in out of the ordinary (1893). In British education, Ordinary level (abbrev. O level), "lowest of the three levels of General Certificate of Education," is attested from 1947. Related: Ordinarily.
Idioms and Phrases with ordinary
see out of the ordinary.