out of the ordinary

Unusual, uncommon, exceptional, as in The venison they served was certainly out of the ordinary. This expression sometimes, but not always, indicates that something is better than the usual. However, the negative version, nothing out of the ordinary, usually indicates that something is not special or outstanding, as in It was an interesting lecture, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Words Nearby out of the ordinary

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

How to use out of the ordinary in a sentence

  • Josiah Dimick has a unique faculty of grasping a situation and summing it up in an out-of-the-ordinary way.

    Cy Whittaker's Place | Joseph C. Lincoln
  • It is fully equipped for out-of-the-ordinary work, as well as for snap-shot and general amateur photography.

    Kodaks and Kodak Supplies, 1914 | Canadian Kodak Company
  • Out-of-the-ordinary surroundings in which to dine are always welcome to this type.

    How to Analyze People on Sight | Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict
  • It was so utterly-out-of-the-ordinary to drive to the railway station, and have one's lunch cooked by the stationmaster.

  • In that volume we shall meet many of our old friends again, and learn the particulars of some out-of-the-ordinary happenings.