Meaning of COMMON in English


1. when there are a lot of something

2. when something happens a lot





see also










1. when there are a lot of something

▷ common /ˈkɒmənǁˈkɑː-/ [adjective]

if something is common, there are a lot of them and they are not unusual :

▪ Jones is a very common name in Great Britain.

▪ Foxes are common in the area.

▪ Personal computers are nearly as common in American homes as televisions.

▷ be everywhere /biː ˈevriweəʳ/ [verb phrase]

to be extremely common and be seen in many different places :

▪ Images of the dictator were everywhere.

▪ Microchips seem to be everywhere these days -- even in washing machines.

▪ One of the first things you notice in Beijing are the bicycles - they’re everywhere.

▷ commonplace /ˈkɒmənpleɪsǁˈkɑː-/ [adjective not before noun]

things that are commonplace exist in large numbers so that they are not considered to be special or unusual even though in other places they may be much less common :

▪ Superstores such as Wal-Mart are now commonplace in America’s small towns.

▪ Expensive foreign cars are commonplace in this Chicago suburb.

▷ be ten a penny British /be a dime a dozen American /biː ˌten ə ˈpeni, biː ə ˌdaɪm ə ˈdʌz ə n/ [verb phrase] informal

to be very common in a particular area and therefore not be considered special or unusual :

▪ Jobs like this are a dime a dozen.

2. when something happens a lot

▷ common /ˈkɒmənǁˈkɑː-/ [adjective]

happening often or in a lot of places :

▪ It’s a common mathematical error.

▪ Petty theft and pickpocketing are becoming increasingly common in the city centre.

▪ Many of the more common forms of cancer can be treated successfully if detected early.

common among

▪ The condition is most common among women aged 18 to 24.

it is common for something to happen/somebody to do something

▪ It’s very common for older children to feel jealous after the birth of a baby.

commonly [adverb]

▪ Computers are now commonly used in language learning.

▷ widespread /ˈwaɪdspred/ [adjective]

happening in a lot of places or done by a lot of people :

▪ Racism is much more widespread than people imagine.

▪ The report claimed that the problem of police brutality was widespread.

▪ Thanks to the widespread availability of antibiotics diseases such as typhoid have largely been eradicated.

▷ commonplace /ˈkɒmənpleɪsǁˈkɑː-/ [adjective not before noun]

happening very often, and therefore not considered to be special or unusual :

▪ Nudism on beaches has long been commonplace in Europe.

▪ Organ transplants are now commonplace.

increasingly commonplace

▪ It used to be rare to see young people sleeping on the streets of London -- these days it’s become increasingly commonplace.

▷ be rife /biː ˈraɪf/ [verb phrase]

if bad behaviour such as stealing or violence is rife in a particular area it happens very often there :

▪ Political corruption was rife in those days.

something is rife with something

▪ A place like Hollywood is always rife with gossip.

▪ The schools are rife with drug abuse.

▷ prevalent /ˈprevələnt/ [adjective] formal

a problem, idea, or type of behaviour that is prevalent in one place, time, or group of people is common there :

▪ Flu is most prevalent during the winter months.

▪ Depression remains one of the most prevalent health disorders in the US.

▪ This belief is more prevalent among men than women.

▷ pervasive /pəʳˈveɪsɪv/ [adjective]

problems, behaviour, or situations that are pervasive are very common and are spreading to more and more people or areas so that they are impossible to prevent :

▪ Violence and crime are pervasive features of city life.

▪ She argues that sexual discrimination remains a pervasive element in corporate culture.


extremely pervasive

▪ the all-pervasive influence of television

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