of no special quality or interest; commonplace; unexceptional: One novel is brilliant, the other is decidedly ordinary; an ordinary person.
plain or undistinguished: ordinary clothes.
somewhat inferior or below average; mediocre.
customary; usual; normal: We plan to do the ordinary things this weekend.
Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. common, vulgar, or disreputable.
(of jurisdiction) immediate, as contrasted with something that is delegated.
(of officials) belonging to the regular staff or the fully recognized class.
noun, plural ordinaries.
the commonplace or average condition, degree, etc.: ability far above the ordinary.
something regular, customary, or usual.
an order or form for divine service, especially that for saying Mass.
the service of the Mass exclusive of the canon.
History/Historical. a member of the clergy appointed to prepare condemned prisoners for death.
English Ecclesiastical Law. a bishop, archbishop, or other ecclesiastic or his deputy, in his capacity as an ex officio ecclesiastical authority.
(in some U.S. states) a judge of a court of probate.
British. (in a restaurant or inn) a complete meal in which all courses are included at one fixed price, as opposed to à la carte service.
a restaurant, public house, or dining room serving all guests and customers the same standard meal or fare.
any of the simplest and commonest charges, usually having straight or broadly curved edges.
in ordinary, in regular service: a physician in ordinary to the king.
out of the ordinary,
exceptional; unusual: Having triplets is certainly out of the ordinary.
exceptionally good; unusually good: The food at this restaurant is truly out of the ordinary.

1250–1300; Middle English ordinarie (noun and adj.) < Latin ordinārius regular, of the usual order, equivalent to ordin- (see order) + -ārius -ary

ordinariness, noun
quasi-ordinary, adjective
superordinary, adjective
unordinary, adjective

3. See common. 4. regular, accustomed.

1. extraordinary, unusual, exceptional.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
ordinary (ˈɔːdənrɪ)
1.  of common or established type or occurrence
2.  familiar, everyday, or unexceptional
3.  uninteresting or commonplace
4.  having regular or ex officio jurisdiction: an ordinary judge
5.  maths (of a differential equation) containing two variables only and derivatives of one of the variables with respect to the other
n , -naries
6.  a common or average situation, amount, or degree (esp in the phrase out of the ordinary)
7.  a normal or commonplace person or thing
8.  civil law a judge who exercises jurisdiction in his own right
9.  (usually capital) an ecclesiastic, esp a bishop, holding an office to which certain jurisdictional powers are attached
10.  RC Church
 a.  Compare proper the parts of the Mass that do not vary from day to day
 b.  a prescribed form of divine service, esp the Mass
11.  the US name for penny-farthing
12.  heraldry any of several conventional figures, such as the bend, the fesse, and the cross, commonly charged upon shields
13.  history a clergyman who visited condemned prisoners before their death
14.  obsolete (Brit)
 a.  a meal provided regularly at a fixed price
 b.  the inn providing such meals
15.  (Brit) in ordinary (used esp in titles) in regular service or attendance: physician in ordinary to the sovereign
[C16: (adj) and C13: (some n senses): ultimately from Latin ordinārius orderly, from ordō order]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1460, "belonging to the usual order or course," from O.Fr. ordinarie, from L. ordinarius "customary, regular, usual, orderly," from ordo (gen. ordinis) "order" (see order). Various noun usages, dating to c.1380 and common until 19c., now largely extinct except in out of
the ordinary (1893). In British education, Ordinary level "lowest of the three levels of General Certificate of Education" is attested from 1947 (abbrev. O level). Related: Ordinarily.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see out of the ordinary.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
It is an observance that has been distilled over centuries of use, molded
  through common belief and ordinary usage.
He weaves a special magic between an otherwise ordinary jacket using simple
  words to convey something profound.
The ordinary picnic table and benches were used for a movie set.
What is much harder to find is good ordinary red-wine vinegar.
Idioms & Phrases
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