Meaning of COMMON in English


Pronunciation: ' kä-m ə n

Function: adjective

Etymology: Middle English commun, from Anglo-French, from Latin communis ― more at MEAN

Date: 13th century

1 a : of or relating to a community at large : PUBLIC <work for the common good> b : known to the community < common nuisances>

2 a : belonging to or shared by two or more individuals or things or by all members of a group <a common friend> <buried in a common grave> b : belonging equally to two or more mathematical entities <triangles with a common base> c : having two or more branches < common carotid artery>

3 a : occurring or appearing frequently : FAMILIAR <a common sight> b : of the best known or most frequently seen kind ― used especially of plants and animals <the common housefly> c : VERNACULAR 2 < common names>

4 a : WIDESPREAD , GENERAL < common knowledge> b : characterized by a lack of privilege or special status < common people> c : just satisfying accustomed criteria : ELEMENTARY < common decency>

5 a : falling below ordinary standards : SECOND-RATE b : lacking refinement : COARSE

6 : denoting nominal relations by a single linguistic form that in a more highly inflected language might be denoted by two or more different forms < common gender> < common case>

7 : of, relating to, or being common stock

– com · mon · ly adverb

– com · mon · ness \ -m ə n-n ə s \ noun

synonyms COMMON , ORDINARY , PLAIN , FAMILIAR , POPULAR , VULGAR mean generally met with and not in any way special, strange, or unusual. COMMON implies usual everyday quality or frequency of occurrence <a common error> <lacked common honesty> and may additionally suggest inferiority or coarseness < common manners>. ORDINARY stresses conformance in quality or kind with the regular order of things <an ordinary pleasant summer day> <a very ordinary sort of man>. PLAIN is likely to suggest homely simplicity < plain hard-working people>. FAMILIAR stresses the fact of being generally known and easily recognized <a familiar melody>. POPULAR applies to what is accepted by or prevalent among people in general sometimes in contrast to upper classes or special groups <a writer of popular romances>. VULGAR otherwise similar to POPULAR is likely to carry derogatory connotations (as of inferiority or coarseness) <souvenirs designed to appeal to the vulgar taste>.

Merriam Webster Collegiate English Dictionary.      Merriam Webster - Энциклопедический словарь английского языка.