Meaning of ORDINARY in English


or ‧ di ‧ na ‧ ry S1 W2 /ˈɔːd ə nəri $ ˈɔːrd ə neri/ BrE AmE adjective

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: ordinarius , from ordo ; ⇨ ↑ order 1 ]

1 . average, common, or usual, not different or special:

It’s just an ordinary camera.

The book is about ordinary people.

Art should be part of ordinary life.

It is good because it is written in friendly, ordinary language.

out of the ordinary (=unusual or unexpected)

Anything out of the ordinary made her nervous.

in the ordinary way British English (=as normal)

The money is taxed as income in the ordinary way.

somebody/something is no ordinary ... (=used to say someone or something is very special)

This is no ordinary car.

Ruiz is no ordinary prisoner.

2 . not particularly good or impressive:

I thought the paintings were pretty ordinary.

—ordinariness noun [uncountable]

• • •


▪ normal usual, typical, and as you would expect it to be:

Is this cold weather normal for the time of year?


It had been another normal working day in the office.

▪ ordinary ( also regular especially American English ) not special, unusual, or different from normal:

They lived in an ordinary three-bedroomed house.


It looks like an ordinary car, but it uses solar power.


Would you like a regular salad or a Caesar salad?


I just want an ordinary bicycle, not a mountain bike.

▪ average [only before noun] around the usual level or amount:

She is of average height.


He is of above average intelligence.


The average price of a pint of milk has gone up.

▪ standard normal – used about methods of doing something, or about the size, shape, features etc of products:

It’s standard practice to X-ray hand-baggage at most airports.


We stock shoes in all the standard sizes.

▪ routine used about things that are done regularly as part of a series of things:

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


routine tasks such as shopping and cooking

▪ everyday [only before noun] used about things that happen or that you use as part of normal life:

He painted scenes of everyday life in France.


Sally was still dressed in her everyday clothes.

▪ common used about birds and plants that are of the most usual type, and in the phrase the common people (=people who are not rich and powerful) :

the common goldfish


an alliance between the aristocracy and the common people

▪ conventional [only before noun] of the kind that is usually used – used when comparing this with a different or special type:

The engine is more efficient than a conventional diesel engine.


the drugs used in conventional medicine


conventional weapons (=not nuclear, chemical, or biological)


conventional ovens and microwaves

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.