common
Pronunciation
  • (RP) enPR: kŏm'ən, IPA: /ˈkɒmən/
  • (America) enPR: kŏm'ən, IPA: /ˈkɑmən/
  • (obsolete) enPR: kŏm'ŭn, IPA: /ˈkɒmʌn/
Adjective

common (comparative commoner, superlative commonest)

  1. Mutual; shared by more than one.
    The two competitors have the common aim of winning the championship.
    Winning the championship is an aim common to the two competitors.
  2. Occurring or happening regularly or frequently; usual.
    It is common to find sharks off this coast.
  3. Found in large numbers or in a large quantity; usual.
    Sharks are common in these waters.
    It differs from the common blackbird in the size of its beak.
  4. Simple, ordinary or vulgar.
    • the honest, heart-felt enjoyment of common life
    • 1591, William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Sixt”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene i]:
      This fact was infamous / And ill beseeming any common man, / Much more a knight, a captain and a leader.
    • above the vulgar flight of common souls
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter III, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, OCLC 40817384 ↗:
      She was frankly disappointed. For some reason she had thought to discover a burglar of one or another accepted type—either a dashing cracksman in full-blown evening dress, lithe, polished, pantherish, or a common yegg, a red-eyed, unshaven burly brute in the rags and tatters of a tramp.
  5. (grammar) In some languages, particularly Germanic languages, of the gender originating from the coalescence of the masculine and feminine categories of nouns.
  6. (grammar) Of or pertaining to common nouns as opposed to proper nouns.
  7. Vernacular, referring to the name of a kind of plant or animal, i.e., common name vs. scientific name.
  8. (obsolete) Profane; polluted.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Acts 10:15 ↗:
      What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
  9. (obsolete) Given to lewd habits; prostitute.
    • a dame who herself was common
Synonyms Antonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • French: (genre) commun
  • German: Utrum
  • Russian: о́бщий род
Noun

common (plural commons)

  1. Mutual good, shared by more than one.
  2. A tract of land in common ownership; common land.
  3. The people; the community.
    • c. 1608–1609, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene i]:
      the weal o' the common
  4. (legal) The right of taking a profit in the land of another, in common either with the owner or with other persons; so called from the community of interest which arises between the claimant of the right and the owner of the soil, or between the claimants and other commoners entitled to the same right.
Translations Translations Verb

common (commons, present participle commoning; past and past participle commoned)

  1. (obsolete) To communicate (something).
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans, Bible, Luke XXII:
      Then entred Satan into Judas, whose syr name was iscariot (which was of the nombre off the twelve) and he went his waye, and commened with the hye prestes and officers, how he wolde betraye hym vnto them.
  2. (obsolete) To converse, talk.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. […], London: Printed [by John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938 ↗, book II, canto IX:
      So long as Guyon with her commoned, / Vnto the ground she cast her modest eye {{...}
    • Embassadors were sent upon both parts, and divers means of entreaty were commoned of.
  3. (obsolete) To have sex.
  4. (obsolete) To participate.
  5. (obsolete) To have a joint right with others in common ground.
  6. (obsolete) To board together; to eat at a table in common.



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