Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Commonly encountered; usual. See Synonyms at common.
  • adj. Of no exceptional ability, degree, or quality; average.
  • adj. Of inferior quality; second-rate.
  • adj. Having immediate rather than delegated jurisdiction, as a judge.
  • adj. Mathematics Designating a differential equation containing no more than one independent variable.
  • n. The usual or normal condition or course of events: Nothing out of the ordinary occurred.
  • n. Law A judge or other official with immediate rather than delegated jurisdiction.
  • n. Law The judge of a probate court in some states of the United States.
  • n. Ecclesiastical The part of the Mass that remains unchanged from day to day.
  • n. Ecclesiastical A division of the Roman Breviary containing the unchangeable parts of the office other than the Psalms.
  • n. Ecclesiastical A cleric, such as the residential bishop of a diocese, with ordinary jurisdiction over a specified territory.
  • n. Heraldry One of the simplest and commonest charges, such as the bend and the cross.
  • n. Chiefly British A complete meal provided at a fixed price.
  • n. Chiefly British A tavern or an inn providing such a meal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having regular jurisdiction (of a judge; now only used in certain phrases).
  • adj. Being part of the natural order of things; normal, customary, routine.
  • adj. Having no special characteristics or function; everyday, common, mundane (often deprecatory).
  • adj. Bad or undesirable.
  • n. A devotional manual.
  • n. A rule, or book of rules, prescribing the order of service, especially of Mass.
  • n. A person having immediate jurisdiction in a given case of ecclesiastical law, such as the bishop within a diocese.
  • n. A set portion of food, later as available for a fixed price at an inn or other eating establishment.
  • n. A place where such meals are served; a public tavern, inn.
  • n. One of the standard geometric designs placed across the center of a coat of arms, such as a pale or fess.
  • n. An ordinary thing or person.
  • n. A penny-farthing bicycle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. According to established order; methodical; settled; regular.
  • adj. Common; customary; usual.
  • adj. Of common rank, quality, or ability; not distinguished by superior excellence or beauty; hence, not distinguished in any way; commonplace; inferior; of little merit
  • n.
  • n. An officer who has original jurisdiction in his own right, and not by deputation.
  • n. One who has immediate jurisdiction in matters ecclesiastical; an ecclesiastical judge; also, a deputy of the bishop, or a clergyman appointed to perform divine service for condemned criminals and assist in preparing them for death.
  • n. A judicial officer, having generally the powers of a judge of probate or a surrogate.
  • n. The mass; the common run.
  • n. That which is so common, or continued, as to be considered a settled establishment or institution.
  • n. Anything which is in ordinary or common use.
  • n. A dining room or eating house where a meal is prepared for all comers, at a fixed price for the meal, in distinction from one where each dish is separately charged; a table d'hôte; hence, also, the meal furnished at such a dining room.
  • n. A charge or bearing of simple form, one of nine or ten which are in constant use. The bend, chevron, chief, cross, fesse, pale, and saltire are uniformly admitted as ordinaries. Some authorities include bar, bend sinister, pile, and others. See Subordinary.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Conformed to a fixed or regulated sequence or arrangement; hence, sanctioned by law or usage; established; settled; stated; regular; normal; customary.
  • Common in practice or use; usual; frequent; habitual.
  • Common in occurrence; such as may be met with at any time or place; not distinguished in any way from others; hence, often, somewhat inferior; of little merit; not distinguished by superior excellence; commonplace; mean; low.
  • Ugly; not handsome: as, she is an ordinary woman.
  • Vulgar, etc. (see common), homely.
  • n. One possessing immediate jurisdiction in his own right and not by special deputation.
  • n. An English diocesan officer, entitled the ordinary of assize and sessions, appointed to give criminals their neck-verses, perform other religious services for them, and assist in preparing them for death.
  • n. A judge empowered to take cognizance of causes in his own right, and not by delegation.
  • n. The established or due sequence; the appointed or fixed form; in the Roman Catholic missal and in other Latin liturgies, the established sequence or order for saying mass; the service of the mass (with exclusion of the canon) as preëminent; the ordo.
  • n. Rule; guide.
  • n. Something regular and customary; something in common use.
  • n. A usual or customary meal; hence, a regular meal provided at, an eating-house for every one, as distinguished from dishes specially ordered; a table d'hôte.
  • n. A place where such meals are served; an eating-house where there is a fixed price for a meal.
  • n. The average; the mass; the common run.
  • n. In heraldry, a very common bearing, usually bounded by straight lines, but sometimes by one of the heraldic lines, wavy, nebulé, or the like. See line, 12.
  • n. In the navy: The establishment of persons formerly employed by government to take charge of ships of war laid up in harbors.
  • n. The state of a ship not in actual service, but laid up under the charge of officers: as, a ship in ordinary (one laid up under the direction of the officers of a navy-yard or dockyard).
  • n. See def. 10 .
  • n. Abbreviated ord.
  • n. The bicycle with a large front and a small rear wheel, which preceded the ‘safety’ bicycle: so called because it was the common form of bicycle before 1890. See bicycle.
  • n. In the stock-market, a share of ordinary or common (that is, not preferred) stock.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. not exceptional in any way especially in quality or ability or size or degree
  • n. a clergyman appointed to prepare condemned prisoners for death
  • n. an early bicycle with a very large front wheel and small back wheel
  • n. a judge of a probate court
  • adj. lacking special distinction, rank, or status; commonly encountered
  • n. the expected or commonplace condition or situation
  • n. (heraldry) any of several conventional figures used on shields

Etymologies

Middle English ordinarie, from Old French, from Latin ōrdinārius, from ōrdō, ōrdin-, order.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman ordenaire, ordenarie etc., from Latin ōrdinārius ("regular, orderly"), from ōrdō ("order"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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