adjective, com·mon·er, com·mon·est.
- not belonging to an inflectional paradigm; fulfilling different functions that in some languages require different inflected forms: English nouns are in the common case whether used as subject or object.
- constituting one of two genders of a language, especially a gender comprising nouns that were formerly masculine or feminine: Swedish nouns are either common or neuter.
- noting a word that may refer to either a male or a female: French élève has common gender. English lacks a common gender pronoun in the third person singular.
- (of a noun) belonging to the common gender.
- the commonalty; the nonruling class.
- the body of people not of noble birth or not ennobled, as represented in England by the House of Commons.
- (initial capital letter) the representatives of this body.
- (initial capital letter) the House of Commons.
- (used with a singular verb) a large dining room, especially at a university or college.
- (usually used with a plural verb)British. food provided in such a dining room.
- (usually used with a plural verb) food or provisions for any group.
- an office or form of service used on a festival of a particular kind.
- the ordinary of the Mass, especially those parts sung by the choir.
- the part of the missal and breviary containing Masses and offices of those saints assigned to them.
- the community or public.
- the common people.
Origin of common
Examples from the Web for common
The vaccine is delivered through a “carrier virus” that causes a common cold in chimpanzees but does not affect humans.
Finding the common bonds that help us realize that we have far more in common than that which separates us.
Such large sheets are common in Kobani, meant to protect fighters and civilians from the ever gazing eyes of ISIS snipers.
Letting humans use their common sense is not an invitation to anarchy.
Common sense is not a just a normative judgment about wisdom, but a structural feature of any functioning organization.
Like rats, mice appear to act in companies, either under leadership or by common consent.Natural History in Anecdote|Various
The common serpent was unknown to us; but with our voices alone we managed to make a formidable noise.Christmas Stories from French and Spanish writers|Antoinette Ogden
A common explanation is that the scribe mistook numerals in the MS. before him and wrote the wrong figures.Lives of SS. Declan and Mochuda|Anonymous
Only the cuckoo of our common birds builds so flimsy a nest as the dove's adored darling.Birds Every Child Should Know|Neltje Blanchan
Only in the absence of a common Gospel would each party have to take its own, and spare the other.Studies of Christianity|James Martineau
British Dictionary definitions for common
- having a specified relationship with a group of numbers or quantitiescommon denominator
- (of a tangent) tangential to two or more circles
- having branchesthe common carotid artery
- serving more than one functionthe common bile duct
- a form of the proper of the Mass used on festivals that have no special proper of their own
- the ordinary of the Mass
Word Origin for common
Word Origin and History for common (1 of 2)
c.1300, "belonging to all, general," from Old French comun "common, general, free, open, public" (9c., Modern French commun), from Latin communis "in common, public, shared by all or many; general, not specific; familiar, not pretentious," from PIE *ko-moin-i- "held in common," compound adjective formed from *ko- "together" + *moi-n-, suffixed form of root *mei- "change, exchange" (see mutable), hence literally "shared by all."
Second element of the compound also is the source of Latin munia "duties, public duties, functions," those related to munia "office." Perhaps reinforced in Old French by the Germanic form of PIE *ko-moin-i- (cf. Old English gemæne "common, public, general, universal;" see mean (adj.)), which came to French via Frankish.
Used disparagingly of women and criminals since c.1300. Common pleas is 13c., from Anglo-French communs plets, hearing civil actions by one subject against another as opposed to pleas of the crown. Common prayer is contrasted with private prayer. Common stock is attested from 1888.
Word Origin and History for common (1 of 2)
late 15c., "land held in common," from common (adj.). Commons "the third estate of the English people as represented in Parliament," is from late 14c. Latin communis also served as a noun meaning "common property, state, commonwealth."
Idioms and Phrases with common
In addition to the idioms beginning with common
- common cause
- common ground
- common touch, the
- in common