• WordNet 3.6
    • adj ordinary lacking special distinction, rank, or status; commonly encountered "average people","the ordinary (or common) man in the street"
    • adj ordinary not exceptional in any way especially in quality or ability or size or degree "ordinary everyday objects","ordinary decency","an ordinary day","an ordinary wine"
    • n ordinary (heraldry) any of several conventional figures used on shields
    • n ordinary an early bicycle with a very large front wheel and small back wheel
    • n ordinary a judge of a probate court
    • n ordinary a clergyman appointed to prepare condemned prisoners for death
    • n ordinary the expected or commonplace condition or situation "not out of the ordinary"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In 1983, a Japanese artist, Tadahiko Ogawa, made a copy of the Mona Lisa completely out of ordinary toast
    • Ordinary (Her) A charge or bearing of simple form, one of nine or ten which are in constant use. The bend chevron chief cross fesse pale, and saltire are uniformly admitted as ordinaries. Some authorities include bar bend sinister pile, and others. See Subordinary.
    • Ordinary A dining room or eating house where a meal is prepared for all comers, at a fixed price for the meal, in distinction from one where each dish is separately charged; a table d'hôte; hence, also, the meal furnished at such a dining room. "All the odd words they have picked up in a coffeehouse, or a gaming ordinary , are produced as flowers of style.""He exacted a tribute for licenses to hawkers and peddlers and to ordinaries ."
    • Ordinary (Law) A judicial officer, having generally the powers of a judge of probate or a surrogate.
    • Ordinary According to established order; methodical; settled; regular. "The ordinary forms of law."
    • Ordinary (Law) An officer who has original jurisdiction in his own right, and not by deputation.
    • Ordinary Anything which is in ordinary or common use. "Water buckets, wagons, cart wheels, plow socks, and other ordinaries ."
    • Ordinary Common; customary; usual. "Method is not less requisite in ordinary conversation that in writing."
    • Ordinary Of common rank, quality, or ability; not distinguished by superior excellence or beauty; hence, not distinguished in any way; commonplace; inferior; of little merit; as, men of ordinary judgment; an ordinary book. "An ordinary lad would have acquired little or no useful knowledge in such a way."
    • Ordinary (Law) One who has immediate jurisdiction in matters ecclesiastical; an ecclesiastical judge; also, a deputy of the bishop, or a clergyman appointed to perform divine service for condemned criminals and assist in preparing them for death.
    • Ordinary That which is so common, or continued, as to be considered a settled establishment or institution. "Spain had no other wars save those which were grown into an ordinary ."
    • Ordinary The mass; the common run. "I see no more in you than in the ordinary Of nature's salework."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: An ordinary TNT bomb involves atomic reaction, and could be called an atomic bomb. What we call an A-bomb involves nuclear reactions and should be called a nuclear bomb.
    • ordinary Conformed to a fixed or regulated sequence or arrangement; hence, sanctioned by law or usage; established; settled; stated; regular; normal; customary.
    • ordinary Common in practice or use; usual; frequent; habitual.
    • ordinary Common in occurrence; such as may be met with at any time or place; not distinguished in any way from others; hence, often, somewhat inferior; of little merit; not distinguished by superior excellence; commonplace; mean; low.
    • ordinary Ugly; not handsome: as, she is an ordinary woman.
    • ordinary Vulgar, etc. (see common), homely.
    • n ordinary One possessing immediate jurisdiction in his own right and not by special deputation. Specifically— In ecclesiastical law, a bishop, archbishop, or other ecclesiastic or his deputy, in his capacity as an ex officio ecclesiastical judge; also, the bishop's deputy in other ecclesiastical matters, including formerly the administration of estates.
    • n ordinary An English diocesan officer, entitled the ordinary of assize and sessions, appointed to give criminals their neck-verses, perform other religious services for them, and assist in preparing them for death.
    • n ordinary A judge empowered to take cognizance of causes in his own right, and not by delegation. Specifically— In the Court of Session in Scotland, one of the five judges, sitting in separate courts, who form the Outer House. Appeals may be taken from their decision to the Inner House.
    • n ordinary The established or due sequence; the appointed or fixed form; in the Roman Catholic missal and in other Latin liturgies, the established sequence or order for saying mass; the service of the mass (with exclusion of the canon) as preëminent; the ordo. In the medieval English liturgical books the Latin title was Ordinarium et Canon Missæ, the ordinary and canon of the mass; in the Roman missal and in general Latin use the title is Ordo Missæ, the order of the mass, and the Canon Missæ, canon of the mass, is entered as a new title. Hence some writers call only that part of the mass which precedes the canon the ordinary or ordo.
    • n ordinary Rule; guide.
    • n ordinary Something regular and customary; something in common use.
    • n ordinary A usual or customary meal; hence, a regular meal provided at, an eating-house for every one, as distinguished from dishes specially ordered; a table d'hôte.
    • n ordinary A place where such meals are served; an eating-house where there is a fixed price for a meal.
    • n ordinary The average; the mass; the common run.
    • n ordinary In heraldry, a very common bearing, usually bounded by straight lines, but sometimes by one of the heraldic lines, wavy, nebulé, or the like. See line, 12. The ordinaries are the oldest bearings, and in general the oldest escutcheons are those which are charged only with the ordinaries, or with these primarily, other charges having been added. The bearings most generally admitted as ordinaries are the eight following: bar, bend, chevron, chief, cross, fesse, pale, and saltire; but most writers add one, some two, and others a greater number, namely one or more of the following: bend sinister, inescutcheon, quarter or franc-quartier, pile, bordure. By some writers also the subordinaries and ordinaries are considered together under one head. The ordinaries are often called honorable ordinaries, to distinguish them from the subordinaries.
    • n ordinary In the navy: The establishment of persons formerly employed by government to take charge of ships of war laid up in harbors.
    • n ordinary The state of a ship not in actual service, but laid up under the charge of officers: as, a ship in ordinary (one laid up under the direction of the officers of a navy-yard or dockyard).
    • n ordinary See def. 10 .
    • n ordinary Abbreviated ord.
    • n ordinary The bicycle with a large front and a small rear wheel, which preceded the ‘safety’ bicycle: so called because it was the common form of bicycle before 1890. See bicycle.
    • n ordinary In the stock-market, a share of ordinary or common (that is, not preferred) stock.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: According to U.S. law, a patent may not be granted on a useless invention, on a method of doing business, on mere printed matter, or on a device or machine that will not operate. Even if an invention is novel or new, a patent may not be obtained if the invention would have been obvious to a person having ordinary skill in the same area at the time of the invention.
    • adj Ordinary or′di-na-ri according to the common order: usual: of common rank: plain: of little merit:
    • n Ordinary a judge of ecclesiastical or other causes who acts in his own right: something settled or customary: actual office: a bishop or his deputy: a place where regular meals are provided at fixed charges: the common run or mass:
    • adj Ordinary or′di-na-ri (coll.) plain-looking
    • n Ordinary (her.) one of a class of armorial charges, called also honourable ordinaries, figures of simple outline and geometrical form, conventional in character—chief, pale, fess, bend, bend-sinister, chevron, cross, saltire, pile, pall, bordure, orle, tressure, canton, flanches
    • ***


  • Peter Townsend
    Peter Townsend
    “It's an ordinary day for Brian. Like, he died every day, you know.”
  • Orel Herhiser
    Orel Herhiser
    “I'm proof that great things can happen to ordinary people if they work hard and never give up.”
  • Steven Spielberg
    Steven Spielberg
    “I've discovered I've got this preoccupation with ordinary people pursued by large forces.”
  • Lou Holtz
    “I can't believe that God put us on this earth to be ordinary.”
  • Socrates
    “I only wish that ordinary people had an unlimited capacity for doing harm; then they might have an unlimited power for doing good.”
  • Martin Scorsese
    Martin Scorsese
    “I just wanted to be an ordinary parish priest.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. ordinarius, fr. ordo, ordinis, order: cf. F. ordinaire,. See Order


In literature:

His coat is ruffled, and his rounded tail seems thrice its ordinary size.
"The Western World" by W.H.G. Kingston
Ordinary starch, or talcum, or the stearate of zinc is suitable.
"The Eugenic Marriage, Vol 2 (of 4)" by W. Grant Hague
As a result, ordinary turf-grass, which will not withstand long droughts, grows in only a few localities of the Pacific slope.
"Commercial Geography" by Jacques W. Redway
A rating on the ships' books for one who shaves the people, for which he receives the pay of an ordinary seaman.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
Double sentinels are posted near enough to each other to be able to communicate easily in ordinary voice.
"Manual of Military Training" by James A. Moss
There is still a heavy enough rainfall to satisfy any ordinary plant or human being.
"The Heart of Nature" by Francis Younghusband
It is not advisable, under ordinary circumstances, to use it under heads exceeding 100 feet, as its speed is then excessive.
"Electricity for the farm" by Frederick Irving Anderson
In the surface-soil it thus approaches more nearly in composition ordinary vegetable matter.
"Manures and the principles of manuring" by Charles Morton Aikman
The most suitable instrument for commencing astronomical studies is within ordinary reach.
"The Story of the Heavens" by Robert Stawell Ball
Many of the frosts recorded "light" were not severe enough to kill ordinary vegetation.
"A New Guide for Emigrants to the West" by J. M. Peck

In poetry:

"I wish't yeh menat it, Bill." Oh, 'ow me 'eart
Went out to 'er that evnin' on the beach.
I knew she weren't no ordinary tart,
My little peach!
"Doreen" by C J Dennis
But e'er she does, I hope she'll read
This worldly wise and warning screed,
That to conceal,
Unto the ordinary man
Is often more alluring than
To ALL reveal.
"Strip Teaser" by Robert W Service
I think of her and all she meant,
the grace and kindliness she lent
to every common household chore;
her welcome ever at the door,
I am so rich in memories
of ordinary things like these.
"I think Of Mother" by Edna Jacues
I passed along a mountain road,
Which led me through a wooded glen,
Remote from dwelling or abode
And ordinary haunts of men;
And wearied from the dust and heat.
Beneath a tree, I found a seat.
"The Fallen Tree." by Alfred Castner King
I'd hate to be an animal, an insect or a fish.
To be the least like bird or beast I've not the slightest wish.
It's best I find to be resigned, and stick to Nature's plan:
Content am I to live and die, just - Ordinary MAN.
"Resignation" by Robert W Service
I'll have no trumpets, triumphs, trails of glory.
It seems the woman I've turned out to be
Is not the heroine of some grand story.
But I have learned to find the poetry
In what my hands can touch, my eyes can see.
The pleasures of an ordinary life.
"The Pleasures of Ordinary Life" by Judith Viorst

In news:

"The Human Race " is run on ordinary roads by ordinary people, many of whom just happen to achieve extraordinary things.
Counter-protesters brought squeaky toys, whistles, noise-makers, and red noses but it was no ordinary clown circus.
Hunky Heroes, Steamy Sirens and the Ordinary People Who Bring Them to Life In POV's 'Guilty Pleasures,' Thursday, July 12, 2012 on PBS.
Unless they are downed by storm or ordinary garden maintenance, not ever.
Studio Players' delightful 'Angels' is no ordinary Christmas tale.
Monk from Kirti monastery and one ordinary citizen taken to hospital by police.
The most shocking thing about them is their ordinariness.
In Ordinary Lives, US Sees the Work of Russian Agents.
With ordinary ink on ordinary paper.
Sure, on Super Bowl Sunday you could serve chicken wings and ordinary pizza WITHOUT melted -plastic in the center, but why.
Yet it aptly describes an ordinary teenager in suburban Detroit named David Hahn.
A review of a recent book about Adolph Hitler described him as just an ordinary man.
'Little Nothings ' a subtle, funny look at ordinary life.
A Master Who Can Perceive Unorthodoxy in the Ordinary.
But this is no ordinary billionaire.

In science:

The structure of the spanning clusters is studied by defining red clusters, in analogy to the “red sites” of ordinary site-percolation.
Susceptibility and Percolation in 2D Random Field Ising Magnets
It turns out so that when the external field is varied, the universality class is that of the ordinary shortrange correlated percolation universality class.
Susceptibility and Percolation in 2D Random Field Ising Magnets
When the random field strength is well above the coupling constant value, ∆ ≫ J , the percolation can be easily understood by considering it as an ordinary siteoccupation problem.
Susceptibility and Percolation in 2D Random Field Ising Magnets
As might be expected, the above algebra generalizes the ordinary supertranslation algebra by replacing any vanishing commutator in the ordinary case by a gauge transformation.
Generalized Noncommutative Supersymmetry from a New Gauge Symmetry
We call a prelayer ordinary if its overlayer is ordinary.
Invariants of mixed representations of quivers II : defining relations and applications