Definition of ordinary in English:


Syllabification: or·di·nar·y
Pronunciation: /ˈôrdnˌerē


  • 2(Especially of a judge or bishop) exercising authority by virtue of office and not by delegation.
    More example sentences
    • Should this be the case, an ordinary judge is not allowed to disregard the national legislation but is bound to refer it to the Constitutional Court.
    • Murphy's model was to have senior judges and ordinary judges under the one umbrella.
    • All the ordinary judges of the Supreme Court and the chief justice were educated in private schools.

noun (plural ordinaries)

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  • 1 (the ordinary) What is commonplace or standard: their clichés were vested with enough emotion to elevate them above the ordinary
    More example sentences
    • Luxurious style, fine craftsmanship, and authentic details elevate Aladdin Resort & Casino far above the ordinary.
    • This being a Dreamworks disc, and a ‘Special Edition’ at that, you can bet on a collection of extra material that is a cut above the ordinary.
    • Opulent style, fine craftsmanship, and authentic details elevate Paris Las Vegas far above the ordinary.
  • 2 Law British A person, especially a judge, exercising authority by virtue of office and not by delegation.
  • 2.1In some US states, a judge of probate.
  • 3 (usually Ordinary) Those parts of a Roman Catholic service, especially the Mass, that do not vary from day to day.
    More example sentences
    • Even so, between 1592 and 1595 Byrd published his three settings of the ordinary of the mass, the masses for three, four and five voices.
  • 3.1A rule or book giving the order for saying the Mass.
  • 4 Heraldry Any of the simplest principal charges used in coats of arms (especially chief, pale, bend, fess, bar, chevron, and saltire).
  • 5British archaic A meal provided at a fixed time and price at an inn.
  • 5.1An inn providing this.
  • 6 historical , chiefly North American another term for penny-farthing.


out of the ordinary

Unusual: nothing out of the ordinary happened
More example sentences
  • It is really, really strange because I haven't done anything out of the ordinary.
  • Nothing seemed unusual or out of the ordinary that morning, to her eyes, at least.
  • This in itself is hardly out of the ordinary; in fact it is a common occurrence.
unusual, exceptional, remarkable, extraordinary, unexpected, surprising, unaccustomed, unfamiliar, abnormal, atypical, different, special, exciting, memorable, noteworthy, unique, singular, outstanding; unconventional, unorthodox, strange, peculiar, odd, queer, curious, bizarre, outlandish
informal offbeat



More example sentences
  • It's about the innocent ordinariness of the victims.
  • Eventually, ordinariness takes over everything.
  • So this stone was monumental in its very ordinariness.


late Middle English: the noun partly via Old French; the adjective from Latin ordinarius 'orderly' (reinforced by French ordinaire), from ordo, ordin- 'order'.

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