If something is "ordinary," it's average. There's isn't anything unusual or unique about it. This word is similar to typical or normal.
- The houses on this block are ordinary. Many of them look alike.
- Sarah prefers to wear ordinary clothes to work because she doesn't want to attract attention to herself.
- It was just another ordinary day until Ahmed got a flat tire, and then everything went downhill from there.
- Instead of getting an ordinary haircut, he decided to go with a mohawk.
He has a mohawk. That is not an ordinary haircut.
The adverb form of this word is "ordinarily."
- Ordinarily, Barb works during the week, but today she's working on the weekend.
- Summer in the United States is ordinarily hot, but last summer was extraordinary. (The opposite of "ordinary" is "extraordinary.")
- Doctor Jensen ordinarily works with patients who are children because he works in the pediatric ward.
Note: Be careful when using the word "ordinary." Some people take offense if their clothes, lifestyle, or material possessions are described as being "ordinary." Many people like to believe they are unique--even if they aren't.
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This page was first published on March 23, 2013. It was updated on February 17, 2017.