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.
- commodity exchange,
- commodity futures trading commission,
- common agricultural policy,
- common antigen,
- common basal vein,
- common bile duct,
- common business oriented language
Origin of common
Examples from the Web for commonness
This commonness of experience and of present effort had made him seem very near to her—very attainable.To Him That Hath|Leroy Scott
For to Dolly, Horace Chase's commonness—or what seemed to her commonness—had always been the insupportable thing.Horace Chase|Constance Fenimore Woolson
In it one rises to the stillness of production, wherein one bathes in mystery and potency and all commonness is cleansed away.The Hive|Will Levington Comfort
His commonness rose into the uncommon, the extraordinary, but without any hint of the exclusive or specially favored.Whitman|John Burroughs
In her acceptance would lie the Queen's touch, redeeming him from all commonness.The Lovely Lady|Mary Austin
- 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
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.
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."
In addition to the idioms beginning with common
- common cause
- common ground
- common touch, the
- in common