Meaning of ORDINARY in English



1. not special or unusual

2. very ordinary, and without any interesting or unusual features

3. ordinary people

4. normal behaviour or feelings

5. the normal situation

6. not ordinary/not normal

7. not ordinary/not normal in a very bad way





ordinary and not interesting or exciting : ↑ BORING/BORED

see also









1. not special or unusual

▷ ordinary /ˈɔːʳd ə nriǁ-d ə neri/ [adjective usually before noun]

ordinary things are not special or unusual :

▪ It’s just an ordinary house in an ordinary street.

▪ He wore an ordinary business suit with a white shirt and tie.

▪ Can you get connected to the Internet through an ordinary telephone line?

▪ Gillman’s known for her photographs of ordinary household items.

▷ normal /ˈnɔːʳm ə l/ [adjective]

something that is normal is just as you would expect it to be, because it is not special or different :

▪ The new Ford looks like any normal car, but it has a special advanced engine.

▪ January 2nd is a public holiday in Scotland, but in England it is a normal working day.

▪ Once the pain has gone away, you can resume your normal activities.

perfectly normal

▪ It was a perfectly normal flight until the plane suddenly started to shake.

it’s normal

▪ It may have seemed unusually cold recently but experts say it’s normal for this time of year.

above/below normal

▪ Tides will be six feet above normal this afternoon.

normally [adverb]

▪ Now the strike is over, and trains are running normally.

▷ average /ˈæv ə rɪdʒ/ [adjective only before noun]

an average thing is a typical example of a particular type of thing :

▪ The average bagel has 190 calories.

▪ In an average week I watch about 20 hours of TV.

▷ standard /ˈstændəʳd/ [adjective usually before noun]

normal - use this especially about products or methods that are the most usual type, without any special features :

standard model/size/shape/pattern

not special

▪ We make shoes in all standard sizes.

▪ Prices start at $15,489 for the standard model.

standard practice/procedure

the way a job is usually done

▪ All hand-baggage was X-rayed - this is now standard practice at most airports.

▪ Drug tests are a standard procedure following train accidents.

standard English/pronunciation/spelling

normally accepted as correct

▪ Students are encouraged to learn standard English because this is what they will need to know in the business world.

▷ routine /ruːˈtiːn/ [adjective usually before noun]

use this about something that is done regularly as part of the normal system and not because of any special problem :

routine check/inspection/examination etc

▪ The fault was discovered during a routine check of the plane.

▪ Police found the heroin during a routine inspection of a ship.

▪ It was on a Saturday 15 years ago that, during a routine visit to the doctor, I learned I had cancer.

▷ conventional /kənˈvenʃ ə nəl/ [adjective only before noun]

a conventional method, piece of equipment, weapon etc is of the normal type that has been used for a long time - use this especially when you are comparing one thing with something else that is new or different :

▪ A microwave cooks food much faster than a conventional oven.

▪ The hospital provides both conventional and alternative medical treatments.

conventional weapons/arms/bombs etc

not nuclear weapons

▪ a new proposal to limit conventional weapons in Europe

▷ day-to-day /ˌdeɪ tə ˈdeɪ/ [adjective only before noun]

use this about the ordinary work, activities, and problems that happen every day :

▪ As Managing Director, I am responsible for the day-to-day management of the company.

▪ Reeve decided to immerse himself in the day-to-day affairs of his company until business improved.

▷ regular /ˈregjɑləʳ/ [adjective only before noun] especially American

ordinary but good enough for a particular purpose :

▪ If they don’t have Tylenol, just get me regular aspirin.

▪ Even though the dye is quite strong, a regular shampoo will remove it.

▷ mainstream /ˈmeɪnstriːm/ [adjective only before noun]

mainstream books, ideas, organizations etc are not strange or extreme in any way, and are therefore popular with or suitable for most ordinary people :

▪ After starting out as a romance novelist, she decided to try writing mainstream fiction.

▪ Most disabled students are integrated into the mainstream educational system.

▪ The mainstream political parties are losing support to smaller, more radical organizations.

▷ everyday /ˈevrideɪ/ [adjective only before noun]

ordinary, usual, or happening every day :

▪ Noland makes sculptures out of everyday objects.

▪ Arthritis made it difficult for him to do everyday things like take out the garbage or mow the lawn.

▪ The first week of the course is spent teaching students English phrases needed for everyday life.

2. very ordinary, and without any interesting or unusual features

▷ ordinary /ˈɔːʳd ə nriǁ-d ə neri/ [adjective]

▪ The house was clean and well kept, but very ordinary.

▪ It’s surprising that a girl as attractive as Sarah is going out with someone so ordinary looking.

▷ nondescript /ˈnɒndɪˌskrɪpt, ˈnɒndəˌskrɪptǁˌnɑːndə̇ˈskrɪpt/ [adjective]

a person or object that is nondescript is not at all interesting to look at because they have no special or unusual features :

▪ The only people in the waiting room were a couple of rather nondescript elderly ladies.

▪ The detective drives a nondescript blue Ford, perfect for observing people unnoticed.

▪ They were an average family living a boring life in a nondescript little house in the suburbs.

▷ bland /blænd/ [adjective]

very ordinary and not containing anything interesting, shocking etc, often in order to avoid offending or upsetting anyone :

▪ The language in her speech was deliberately bland.

▪ Most job descriptions are bland, boring and totally lacking in colour.

▪ The college’s bland appearance made it seem a little unfriendly.

▷ unremarkable /ˌʌnrɪˈmɑːʳkəb ə l◂/ [adjective]

someone or something that is unremarkable is very ordinary and not especially different from most other people or things :

▪ She had had just one adventure in her otherwise unremarkable life.

▪ Josh was, I thought, a pleasant but unremarkable young man.

3. ordinary people

▷ ordinary /ˈɔːʳd ə nriǁ-d ə neri-/ [plural noun]

ordinary people are people who are not rich, famous, or powerful :

ordinary people/folk

▪ Politicians don’t care about ordinary people.

▪ In the eighteenth century ordinary people had no access whatsoever to education.

ordinary guy/man/woman etc

▪ In the film ‘Phenomenon’, John Travolta plays an ordinary guy who becomes a genius overnight.

▷ average /ˈæv ə rɪdʒ/ [adjective only before noun]

an average person is a typical example of a person :

▪ The average family spends about £50 a week on food.

▪ Foreign affairs do not usually interest the average voter.

▪ There is concern that twenty years from now, the average American won’t be able to afford to send his or her children to college.

▷ the man/woman in the street /ðə ˌmæn, ˌwʊmən ɪn ðə ˈstriːt/ [noun phrase]

a typical person who has ordinary opinions, likes the same things as most other people etc -- used especially by journalists :

▪ The advertising industry has to know exactly what the man in the street is thinking.

▪ This latest legislation will not really affect the man or woman in the street.

▷ the general public /ðə ˌdʒen ə rəl ˈpʌblɪk/ [noun phrase]

all the ordinary people in a society or country, especially those without special knowledge of a subject :

▪ Very little official information is given to the general public.

▪ She is a poet who is admired by other poets but not well-known to the general public.

▪ Organizers of the President’s funeral plan a large ceremony for the general public, and a small, private affair for his family.

▷ the rank and file /ðə ˌræŋk ən ˈfaɪl/ [noun phrase]

the ordinary members of an organization, especially a political organization, when compared with its leaders :

▪ The rank and file has lost confidence in the party leadership.

▪ conflict between union leaders and the rank and file at an Alfa Romeo factory

rank-and-file [adjective only before noun]

▪ rank-and-file members

▷ the grass roots /ðə ˌgrɑːs ˈruːtsǁ-ˌgræs-/ [singular noun]

the ordinary members at the bottom of a political or religious organization :

▪ The decisions were taken by the party leadership without consulting the grass roots.

grassroots /ˈgrɑːsruːtsǁˈgræs-/ [adjective only before noun]

▪ a grassroots campaign

▪ The party is in some difficulty, but still has grassroots support.

4. normal behaviour or feelings

▷ normal /ˈnɔːʳm ə l/ [adjective]

if a person is normal, there is nothing strange about them, and they are mentally and physically healthy :

▪ Any normal boy of his age would be interested in football.

▪ Her breathing was normal, but she had a very high temperature.

it is normal (for somebody) to do something

▪ It is quite normal for children to be afraid of the dark.

▪ When you start a new job, it’s normal to feel somewhat overwhelmed.

perfectly normal

completely normal

▪ They seemed like a perfectly normal family.

normally [adverb]

▪ Even a few hours before he committed suicide, he seemed to be behaving perfectly normally.

▷ natural /ˈnætʃər ə l/ [adjective]

feelings that are natural are what you would normally expect in a particular situation, so there is no need to feel worried or embarrassed about them :

▪ Anger is a natural reaction when you lose someone you love.

it is natural (for somebody) to do something

▪ I suppose it’s natural for a mother to feel sad when her children leave home.

▪ It isn’t natural for a child to be so quiet.

perfectly/quite natural

completely natural

▪ It’s perfectly natural to grieve for the loss of a pet.

it’s only natural


▪ Of course Jean misses her boyfriend - it’s only natural.

it’s only natural that

▪ It’s only natural that people who spend a lot of time around computers either love them or hate them.

▷ conventional /kənˈvenʃ ə nəl/ [adjective]

conventional people, behaviour, and opinions are the kind that most people in society think are normal and socially acceptable, although some people think they are boring and old-fashioned :

▪ My mother was very conventional - she didn’t approve of my hippie lifestyle.

▪ a young man with conventional tastes in clothes and music

conventional wisdom

the opinion that most people consider to be normal and right

▪ Conventional wisdom holds that more money for education means better schools for children.

conventionally [adverb]

▪ She was dressed very conventionally in a rather dull grey suit.

▷ it’s human nature (to do something) /ɪts ˌhjuːmən ˈneɪtʃəʳ (tə duː something )/ spoken

use this to say that is it normal for people to want to do something :

▪ It’s human nature to want what we don’t have.

5. the normal situation

▷ get back to normal/return to normal /get ˌbæk tə ˈnɔːʳm ə l, rɪˌtɜːʳn tə ˈnɔʳːm ə l/ [verb phrase]

if a situation gets back to normal or returns to normal, it becomes normal again after a period when it was not normal :

▪ After the war it took a long time for things to get back to normal.

▪ The strike has caused serious problems, but we hope bus services will quickly return to normal.

▷ normality also normalcy American /nɔːʳˈmælɪti, nɔːʳˈmæləti, ˈnɔːʳm ə lsi/ [uncountable noun] written

a situation in which everything is normal and exactly how you would expect it to be :

▪ The children soon settled down once normality was re-established.

▪ Both leaders say they hope the relationship between their two countries will be restored to normality.

▪ The town had a cheerful air of normalcy despite the extra policemen everywhere.

6. not ordinary/not normal

▷ special /ˈspeʃ ə l/ [adjective]

not ordinary, but more important, interesting, or impressive than usual :

▪ Tomorrow is a very special day for us - it’s our first wedding anniversary.

▪ Is there any special reason why I should let you borrow my car?

▪ Lianne’s doctor put her on a special diet and told her to exercise regularly.

▪ She had a special talent for learning languages.

something/anything/nothing special

▪ ‘Are you doing anything this weekend?’ ‘No, nothing special.’

special occasion

an important social event or celebration

▪ I only wear this suit on special occasions, like weddings.

▷ no ordinary /nəʊ ˈɔːʳd ə nriǁ-d ə neri/ [determiner]

not at all ordinary, but very unusual, very impressive etc :

▪ As soon as I got there, I realized that this was no ordinary family gathering.

▪ The hundreds of reporters gathered outside the courtroom were a reminder that this was no ordinary trial.

7. not ordinary/not normal in a very bad way

▷ abnormal /æbˈnɔːʳm ə l/ [adjective usually before noun]

very different from what is normal, in a way that is strange, worrying, or dangerous :

▪ abnormal behaviour that may be a sign of mental illness

▪ an abnormal chest x-ray

▪ El Nino is caused by abnormal amounts of warm water in the Pacific Ocean.

it is abnormal (for somebody) to do something

▪ My parents thought it was abnormal for a boy to be interested in ballet.

abnormally [adverb]

▪ abnormally low blood pressure

▪ She became abnormally fascinated by death.

▪ Snow this early in the season could mean we’ll have an abnormally cold winter.

abnormality /ˌæbnɔːˈmælɪti, ˌæbnɔːˈmælətiǁ-nər-/ [countable/uncountable noun]

▪ The drug was found to cause genetic abnormalities in unborn children.

▪ The tests will show if there is any abnormality in your nervous system.

▷ unnatural /ʌnˈnætʃ ə rəl/ [adjective]

different from normal human behaviour in a way that seems morally wrong :

▪ unnatural acts

▪ In some countries, it’s considered unnatural for women with families to want to work outside the home.

▪ Brown spoke out against what he considered the unnatural lifestyles of unmarried couples who live together.

unnaturally [adverb]

▪ Police allege that Ellis cruelly and unnaturally treated the two women in her care.

▷ deviant /ˈdiːviənt/ [adjective] formal

deviant behaviour or actions are considered to be very strange and morally unacceptable -- often used about sexual or criminal behaviour :

▪ The magazine shows people engaging in deviant sexual acts.

▪ Certain practices that once were condemned as deviant are now considered fairly normal.

Longman Activator English vocab.      Английский словарь Longman активатор .