[ ruhn-uhv-thuh-mil ]
See synonyms for run-of-the-mill on
  1. merely average; commonplace; mediocre: just a plain, run-of-the-mill house; a run-of-the-mill performance.

Origin of run-of-the-mill

First recorded in 1925–30

Other words for run-of-the-mill

Words Nearby run-of-the-mill Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use run-of-the-mill in a sentence

  • The street was full of people—strangers who didn't look like your run-of-the-mill artist.

    The Syndic | C.M. Kornbluth
  • This is not—and when I say this, I mean the Oswald case—is not an ordinary run-of-the-mill-type of case.

    Warren Commission (5 of 26): Hearings Vol. V (of 15) | The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • Feature story, maybe, but it's pretty run-of-the-mill stuff, even at that.

    The Telenizer | Don Thompson
  • Knowledge like this was too much for the ordinary run-of-the-mill person.

    The Eyes Have It | Philip Kindred Dick

British Dictionary definitions for run-of-the-mill


  1. ordinary, average, or undistinguished in quality, character, or nature; not special or excellent

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

Cultural definitions for run of the mill

run of the mill

Common, ordinary, average: “His performance in the game was neither exemplary nor disastrous; it was simply run of the mill.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with run-of-the-mill


Ordinary, average, as in There's nothing special about these singers—they're just run of the mill. This expression alludes to fabrics coming directly from a mill without having been sorted or inspected for quality. It has survived such similar phrases as run of the mine and run of the kiln, for the products of mines and kilns. [Late 1800s]

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