[com.mon] adj [ME commun, fr. OF, fr. L communis--more at mean] (13c) 1 a: of or relating to a community at large: public "work for the ~ good" b: known to the community "~ nuisances"
2. a: belonging to or shared by two or more individuals or things or by all members of a group "a ~ friend" "buried in a ~ grave" b: belonging equally to two or more mathematical entities "triangles with a ~ base" c: having two or more branches "~ carotid artery" 3 a: occurring or appearing frequently: familiar "a ~ sight" b: of the best known kind c: vernacular
2. "~ names"
4. a: widespread, general "~ knowledge" b: characterized by a lack of privilege or special status "~ people" c: just satisfying accustomed criteria: elementary "~ 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 "~ gender" "~ case" 7: of, relating to, or being common stock -- com.mon.ly adv -- com.mon.ness n syn 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".
common n (14c) 1 pl: the common people
2. pl but sing in constr: a dining hall 3 pl but sing or pl in constr, often cap a: the political group or estate comprising the commoners b: the parliamentary representatives of the commoners c: house of commons
4: the legal right of taking a profit in another's land in common with the owner or others
5: a piece of land subject to common use: as a: undivided land used esp. for pasture b: a public open area in a municipality
6. a: a religious service suitable for any of various festivals b: the ordinary of the Mass 7: common stock -- in common : shared together