- ordinary; undistinguished or uninteresting; without individuality: a commonplace person.
- trite; hackneyed; platitudinous: a commonplace remark.
- a well-known, customary, or obvious remark; a trite or uninteresting saying.
- anything common, ordinary, or uninteresting.
- Archaic. a place or passage in a book or writing noted as important for reference or quotation.
Origin of commonplace
1525–35; translation of Latin locus commūnis, itself translation of Greek koinòs tópos
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
2. Commonplace, banal, hackneyed, stereotyped, trite describe words, remarks, and styles of expression that are lifeless and uninteresting. Commonplace characterizes thought that is dull, ordinary, and platitudinous: commonplace and boring. Something is banal that seems inane, insipid, and pointless: a heavy-handed and banal affirmation of the obvious. Hackneyed characterizes something that seems stale and worn out through overuse: a hackneyed comparison. Stereotyped emphasizes the fact that situations felt to be similar invariably call for the same thought in exactly the same form and the same words: so stereotyped as to seem automatic. Trite describes something that was originally striking and apt, but which has become so well-known and been so commonly used that all interest has been worn out of it: true but trite.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for commonplace
When it comes to setting up a reward, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service considers “$50,000 commonplace.”Post Office Robbers More Wanted Than ISIS
December 13, 2014
The god with horns—half human, half beast—is commonplace throughout the ancient Near East.Meet Krampus, the Seriously Bad Santa
December 5, 2014
In a press release accompanying the video, Roberts said that such behavior is commonplace on New York streets—and in her own life.Street Harassment Shouldn’t Be a Crime
October 29, 2014
Shady political operatives and campaign finance scandals are commonplace.The Time Michele Bachmann Was Right
August 31, 2014
Forced marriage is commonplace, and was only made a crime in June of this year.How Britain Made James Foley's Killer
August 27, 2014
It is a curious question why sacred song should so often be dull and commonplace.Weighed and Wanting
The "missing fourth side" of the room is a commonplace recognized by all.The Dramatic Values in Plautus
Wilton Wallace Blancke
You will not tire of it as you will of that which has but a commonplace form or pattern.
Nature is as plain as one of her pigs, as commonplace, as comic, and as healthy.Alarms and Discursions
G. K. Chesterton
But try as I might, I could only devise something so commonplace that I let the clay spoil.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
- ordinary; everydaycommonplace duties
- dull and obvious; tritecommonplace prose
- something dull and trite, esp a remark; platitude; truism
- a passage in a book marked for inclusion in a commonplace book, etc
- an ordinary or common thing
C16: translation of Latin locus commūnis argument of wide application, translation of Greek koinos topos
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for commonplace
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper