Meaning of COMMON in English

I. ˈkä-mən adjective

Etymology: Middle English commun, from Anglo-French, from Latin communis — more at mean

Date: 13th century


a. : of or relating to a community at large : public

work for the common good

b. : known to the community

common nuisances


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


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


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


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 -mən-nəs noun


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

II. noun

Date: 14th century

1. plural : the common people

2. plural but singular in construction : a dining hall

3. plural but singular or plural in construction , often capitalized

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 especially for pasture

b. : a public open area in a municipality


a. : a religious service suitable for any of various festivals

b. : ordinary 2

7. : common stock

- in common

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.