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common

[kom-uh n] /ˈkɒm ən/
adjective, commoner, commonest.
1.
belonging equally to, or shared alike by, two or more or all in question:
common property; common interests.
2.
pertaining or belonging equally to an entire community, nation, or culture; public:
a common language or history; a common water-supply system.
3.
joint; united:
a common defense.
4.
widespread; general; ordinary:
common knowledge.
5.
of frequent occurrence; usual; familiar:
a common event; a common mistake.
6.
hackneyed; trite.
7.
of mediocre or inferior quality; mean; low:
a rough-textured suit of the most common fabric.
8.
coarse; vulgar:
common manners.
9.
lacking rank, station, distinction, etc.; unexceptional; ordinary:
a common soldier; common people; the common man; a common thief.
10.
Dialect. friendly; sociable; unaffected.
11.
Anatomy. forming or formed by two or more parts or branches:
the common carotid arteries.
12.
Prosody. (of a syllable) able to be considered as either long or short.
13.
Grammar.
  1. not belonging to an inflectional paradigm; fulfilling different functions that in some languages require different inflected forms:
    English nouns are in the common case whether used as subject or object.
  2. constituting one of two genders of a language, especially a gender comprising nouns that were formerly masculine or feminine:
    Swedish nouns are either common or neuter.
  3. noting a word that may refer to either a male or a female:
    French élève has common gender. English lacks a common gender pronoun in the third person singular.
  4. (of a noun) belonging to the common gender.
14.
Mathematics. bearing a similar relation to two or more entities.
15.
of, pertaining to, or being common stock:
common shares.
noun
16.
Often, commons. Chiefly New England. a tract of land owned or used jointly by the residents of a community, usually a central square or park in a city or town.
17.
Law. the right or liberty, in common with other persons, to take profit from the land or waters of another, as by pasturing animals on another's land (common of pasturage) or fishing in another's waters (common of piscary)
18.
commons, (used with a singular or plural verb)
  1. the commonalty; the nonruling class.
  2. the body of people not of noble birth or not ennobled, as represented in England by the House of Commons.
  3. (initial capital letter) the representatives of this body.
  4. (initial capital letter) the House of Commons.
19.
commons.
  1. (used with a singular verb) a large dining room, especially at a university or college.
  2. (usually used with a plural verb) British. food provided in such a dining room.
  3. (usually used with a plural verb) food or provisions for any group.
20.
(sometimes initial capital letter) Ecclesiastical.
  1. an office or form of service used on a festival of a particular kind.
  2. the ordinary of the Mass, especially those parts sung by the choir.
  3. the part of the missal and breviary containing Masses and offices of those saints assigned to them.
21.
Obsolete.
  1. the community or public.
  2. the common people.
Idioms
22.
in common, in joint possession or use; shared equally:
They have a love of adventure in common.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English comun < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin commūnis common, presumably orig. “sharing common duties,” akin to mūnia duties of an office, mūnus task, duty, gift < a base *moin-, cognate with mean2; cf. com-, immune
Related forms
commonness, noun
overcommon, adjective
overcommonly, adverb
overcommonness, noun
quasi-common, adjective
quasi-commonly, adverb
Can be confused
common, mutual, reciprocal (see usage note at mutual)
Synonyms
4. universal, prevalent, popular. See general. 5. customary, everyday. 7, 8, 9. Common, vulgar, ordinary refer, often with derogatory connotations of cheapness or inferiority, to what is usual or most often experienced. Common applies to what is accustomed, usually experienced, or inferior, to the opposite of what is exclusive or aristocratic: The park is used by the common people. Vulgar properly means belonging to the people, or characteristic of common people; it connotes low taste, coarseness, or ill breeding: the vulgar view of things; vulgar in manners and speech. Ordinary refers to what is to be expected in the usual order of things; it means average or below average: That is a high price for something of such ordinary quality.
Antonyms
1. individual. 5. unusual.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for quasicommon

common

/ˈkɒmən/
adjective
1.
belonging to or shared by two or more people: common property
2.
belonging to or shared by members of one or more nations or communities; public: a common culture
3.
of ordinary standard; average: common decency
4.
prevailing; widespread: common opinion
5.
widely known or frequently encountered; ordinary: a common brand of soap
6.
widely known and notorious: a common nuisance
7.
(derogatory) considered by the speaker to be low-class, vulgar, or coarse: a common accent
8.
(prenominal) having no special distinction, rank, or status: the common man
9.
(maths)
  1. having a specified relationship with a group of numbers or quantities: common denominator
  2. (of a tangent) tangential to two or more circles
10.
(prosody) (of a syllable) able to be long or short, or (in nonquantitative verse) stressed or unstressed
11.
(grammar) (in certain languages) denoting or belonging to a gender of nouns, esp one that includes both masculine and feminine referents: Latin sacerdos is common
12.
(anatomy)
  1. having branches: the common carotid artery
  2. serving more than one function: the common bile duct
13.
(Christianity) of or relating to the common of the Mass or divine office
14.
(informal) common or garden, ordinary; unexceptional
noun
15.
(sometimes pl) a tract of open public land, esp one now used as a recreation area
16.
(law) the right to go onto someone else's property and remove natural products, as by pasturing cattle or fishing (esp in the phrase right of common)
17.
(Christianity)
  1. a form of the proper of the Mass used on festivals that have no special proper of their own
  2. the ordinary of the Mass
18.
(archaic) the ordinary people; the public, esp those undistinguished by rank or title
19.
in common, mutually held or used with another or others
See also commons
Derived Forms
commonness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French commun, from Latin commūnis general, universal
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for quasicommon

common

adj.

c.1300, "belonging to all, general," from Old French comun "common, general, free, open, public" (9c., Modern French commun), from Latin communis "in common, public, shared by all or many; general, not specific; familiar, not pretentious," from PIE *ko-moin-i- "held in common," compound adjective formed from *ko- "together" + *moi-n-, suffixed form of root *mei- "change, exchange" (see mutable), hence literally "shared by all."

Second element of the compound also is the source of Latin munia "duties, public duties, functions," those related to munia "office." Perhaps reinforced in Old French by the Germanic form of PIE *ko-moin-i- (cf. Old English gemæne "common, public, general, universal;" see mean (adj.)), which came to French via Frankish.

Used disparagingly of women and criminals since c.1300. Common pleas is 13c., from Anglo-French communs plets, hearing civil actions by one subject against another as opposed to pleas of the crown. Common prayer is contrasted with private prayer. Common stock is attested from 1888.

n.

late 15c., "land held in common," from common (adj.). Commons "the third estate of the English people as represented in Parliament," is from late 14c. Latin communis also served as a noun meaning "common property, state, commonwealth."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with quasicommon
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for quasicommon

common

in Anglo-American property law, an area of land for use by the public. The term originated in feudal England, where the "waste," or uncultivated land, of a lord's manor could be used for pasture and firewood by his tenants. For centuries this right of commons conflicted with the lord's right to "approve" (i.e., appropriate for his own use) any of his waste, provided he left enough land to support the commoners' livestock. In the 19th century the right of approvement was in effect assumed by the government. Under modern agriculture, common pasturing became obsolete, and commons became public land used mostly for recreation.

Learn more about common with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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