from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plural form of commonplace.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It was the old story, which the world is continually re-enacting, while the sage stands by, and marvels at its folly, and preaches what we call commonplaces, in a vain endeavour to modify or to prevent it.


  • "Wise people say we must carry our sunshine with us," answered Rose, taking refuge in commonplaces, for the face at the window grew pensive suddenly as he answered, with a longing look, "I wish I could."

    Rose in Bloom

  • It's deadly commonplace, but, after all, the commonplaces are the great poetic truths.

    The Pocket R.L.S., being favourite passages from the works of Stevenson

  • When Couper's statue of Longfellow was dedicated in Washington, Hamilton Mabie said: "His freedom from the sophistication of a more experienced country; his simplicity, due in large measure to the absence of social self-consciousness; his tranquil and deep-seated optimism, which is the effluence of an unexhausted soil; his happy and confident expectation, born of a sense of tremendous national vitality; his love of simple things in normal relations to world-wide interests of the mind; his courage in interpreting those deeper experiences which craftsmen who know art but who do not know life call commonplaces; the unaffected and beautiful democracy of his spirit -- these are the delicate flowers of our new world, and as much a part of it as its stretches of wilderness and the continental roll of its rivers."

    The American Spirit in Literature : a chronicle of great interpreters

  • Rather the poet should sweep on his way borne by the breath of inspiration and untrammelled by hard fact, making use of cunning artifice and divine intervention, and interfusing his "commonplaces" with legendary lore; only so will his work seem to be the fine frenzy of an inspired bard rather than the exactitude of one who is giving sworn evidence before a judge '.

    Post-Augustan Poetry From Seneca to Juvenal

  • The class called People (to which you and I, with no little pride, attach ourselves) has certain casual, yet profound, assumptions, which are called "commonplaces," as that children are charming, or that twilight is sad and sentimental, or that one man fighting three is a fine sight.

    Alarms and Discursions

  • Devices of method called 'commonplaces' were constructed, whereby, irrespective of the truth or falsehood of the subject-matter, a favourable vote in the public assemblies, a successful verdict in the public courts, might more readily be procured.

    A Short History of Greek Philosophy

  • "commonplaces," that is, stock phrases, lines or stanzas which are conveniently held by the memory and which may appear in dozens of different ballads.

    A Study of Poetry

  • Minister had characterized these assertions as "commonplaces," and had added in an irritated tone: "The Jews themselves are responsible for the pogroms.

    History of the Jews in Russia and Poland. Volume II From the death of Alexander I. until the death of Alexander III. (1825-1894)

  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, "Truths that startled the generation in which they were first announced become in the next age the commonplaces of conversation."

    Emma Wilhelm: What Divorce Taught Me About Marriage


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  • '"My life is spent in one long effort to esacpe from the commonplaces of exsistence."' -The Red-Headed League, a tale of Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    February 21, 2008