Hypertext Webster Gateway: "common"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Common \Com"mon\, a. [Compar. {Commoner}; superl. {Commonest}.]
[OE. commun, comon, OF. comun, F. commun, fr. L. communis;
com- + munis ready to be of service; cf. Skr. mi to make
fast, set up, build, Goth. gamains common, G. gemein, and E.
mean low, common. Cf. {Immunity}, {Commune}, n. & v.]
1. Belonging or relating equally, or similarly, to more than
one; as, you and I have a common interest in the property.

Though life and sense be common to men and brutes.
--Sir M. Hale.

2. Belonging to or shared by, affecting or serving, all the
members of a class, considered together; general; public;
as, properties common to all plants; the common schools;
the Book of Common Prayer.

Such actions as the common good requireth. --Hooker.

The common enemy of man. --Shak.

3. Often met with; usual; frequent; customary.

Grief more than common grief. --Shak.

4. Not distinguished or exceptional; inconspicuous; ordinary;
plebeian; -- often in a depreciatory sense.

The honest, heart-felt enjoyment of common life.
--W. Irving.

This fact was infamous And ill beseeming any common
man, Much more a knight, a captain and a leader.

Above the vulgar flight of common souls. --A.

5. Profane; polluted. [Obs.]

What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
--Acts x. 15.

6. Given to habits of lewdness; prostitute.

A dame who herself was common. --L'Estrange.

{Common bar} (Law) Same as {Blank bar}, under {Blank}.

{Common barrator} (Law), one who makes a business of
instigating litigation.

{Common Bench}, a name sometimes given to the English Court
of Common Pleas.

{Common brawler} (Law), one addicted to public brawling and
quarreling. See {Brawler}.

{Common carrier} (Law), one who undertakes the office of
carrying (goods or persons) for hire. Such a carrier is
bound to carry in all cases when he has accommodation, and
when his fixed price is tendered, and he is liable for all
losses and injuries to the goods, except those which
happen in consequence of the act of God, or of the enemies
of the country, or of the owner of the property himself.

{Common chord} (Mus.), a chord consisting of the fundamental
tone, with its third and fifth.

{Common council}, the representative (legislative) body, or
the lower branch of the representative body, of a city or
other municipal corporation.

{Common crier}, the crier of a town or city.

{Common divisor} (Math.), a number or quantity that divides
two or more numbers or quantities without a remainder; a
common measure.

{Common gender} (Gram.), the gender comprising words that may
be of either the masculine or the feminine gender.

{Common law}, a system of jurisprudence developing under the
guidance of the courts so as to apply a consistent and
reasonable rule to each litigated case. It may be
superseded by statute, but unless superseded it controls.

Note: It is by others defined as the unwritten law
(especially of England), the law that receives its
binding force from immemorial usage and universal
reception, as ascertained and expressed in the
judgments of the courts. This term is often used in
contradistinction from {statute law}. Many use it to
designate a law common to the whole country. It is also
used to designate the whole body of English (or other)
law, as distinguished from its subdivisions, local,
civil, admiralty, equity, etc. See {Law}.

{Common lawyer}, one versed in common law.

{Common lewdness} (Law), the habitual performance of lewd
acts in public.

{Common multiple} (Arith.) See under {Multiple}.

{Common noun} (Gram.), the name of any one of a class of
objects, as distinguished from a proper noun (the name of
a particular person or thing).

{Common nuisance} (Law), that which is deleterious to the
health or comfort or sense of decency of the community at

{Common pleas}, one of the three superior courts of common
law at Westminster, presided over by a chief justice and
four puisne judges. Its jurisdiction is confined to civil
matters. Courts bearing this title exist in several of the
United States, having, however, in some cases, both civil
and criminal jurisdiction extending over the whole State.
In other States the jurisdiction of the common pleas is
limited to a county, and it is sometimes called a {county
court}. Its powers are generally defined by statute.

{Common prayer}, the liturgy of the Church of England, or of
the Protestant Episcopal church of the United States,
which all its clergy are enjoined to use. It is contained
in the Book of Common Prayer.

{Common school}, a school maintained at the public expense,
and open to all.

{Common scold} (Law), a woman addicted to scolding
indiscriminately, in public.

{Common seal}, a seal adopted and used by a corporation.

{Common sense}.
(a) A supposed sense which was held to be the common bond
of all the others. [Obs.] --Trench.
(b) Sound judgment. See under {Sense}.

{Common time} (Mus.), that variety of time in which the
measure consists of two or of four equal portions.

{In common}, equally with another, or with others; owned,
shared, or used, in community with others; affecting or
affected equally.

{Out of the common}, uncommon; extraordinary.

{Tenant in common}, one holding real or personal property in
common with others, having distinct but undivided
interests. See {Joint tenant}, under {Joint}.

{To make common cause with}, to join or ally one's self with.

Syn: General; public; popular; national; universal; frequent;
ordinary; customary; usual; familiar; habitual; vulgar;
mean; trite; stale; threadbare; commonplace. See
{Mutual}, {Ordinary}, {General}.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Common \Com"mon\, n.
1. The people; the community. [Obs.] ``The weal o' the
common.'' --Shak.

2. An inclosed or uninclosed tract of ground for pleasure,
for pasturage, etc., the use of which belongs to the
public; or to a number of persons.

3. (Law) The right of taking a profit in the land of another,
in common either with the owner or with other persons; --
so called from the community of interest which arises
between the claimant of the right and the owner of the
soil, or between the claimants and other commoners
entitled to the same right.

{Common appendant}, a right belonging to the owners or
occupiers of arable land to put commonable beasts upon the
waste land in the manor where they dwell.

{Common appurtenant}, a similar right applying to lands in
other manors, or extending to other beasts, besides those
which are generally commonable, as hogs.

{Common because of} {vicinage or neighborhood}, the right of
the inhabitants of each of two townships, lying contiguous
to each other, which have usually intercommoned with one
another, to let their beasts stray into the other's
fields. -

{Common} {in gross or at large}, a common annexed to a man's
person, being granted to him and his heirs by deed; or it
may be claimed by prescriptive right, as by a parson of a
church or other corporation sole. --Blackstone.

{Common of estovers}, the right of taking wood from another's

{Common of pasture}, the right of feeding beasts on the land
of another. --Burill.

{Common of piscary}, the right of fishing in waters belonging
to another.

{Common of turbary}, the right of digging turf upon the
ground of another.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Common \Com"mon\, v. i.
1. To converse together; to discourse; to confer. [Obs.]

Embassadors were sent upon both parts, and divers
means of entreaty were commoned of. --Grafton.

2. To participate. [Obs.] --Sir T. More.

3. To have a joint right with others in common ground.

4. To board together; to eat at a table in common.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adj 1: belonging to or participated in by a community as a whole;
public; "for the common good"; "common lands are set
aside for use by all members of a community" [ant: {individual}]
2: of no special distinction or quality; widely known or
commonly encountered; average or ordinary or usual; "the
common man"; "a common sailor"; "the common cold"; "a
common nuisance"; "followed common procedure"; "it is
common knowledge that she lives alone"; "the common
housefly"; "a common brand of soap" [ant: {uncommon}]
3: common to or shared by two or more parties; "a common
friend"; "the mutual interests of management and labor"
[syn: {mutual}]
4: commonly encountered; "a common (or familiar) complaint";
"the usual greeting" [syn: {usual}]
5: being or characteristic of or appropriate to everyday
language; "common parlance"; "a vernacular term";
"vernacular speakers"; "the vulgar tongue of the masses";
"the technical and vulgar names for an animal species"
[syn: {vernacular}, {vulgar}]
6: of or associated with the great masses of people; "the
common people in those days suffered greatly"; "behavior
that branded him as common"; "his square plebeian nose";
"a vulgar and objectionable person"; "the unwashed masses"
[syn: {plebeian}, {vulgar}, {unwashed}]
7: of low or inferior quality or value; "of what coarse metal
ye are molded"- Shakespeare; "produced...the common cloths
used by the poorer population" [syn: {coarse}]
8: lacking refinement or cultivation or taste; "he had coarse
manners but a first-rate mind"; "behavior that branded him
as common"; "an untutored and uncouth human being"; "an
uncouth soldier--a real tough guy"; "appealing to the
vulgar taste for violence"; "the vulgar display of the
newly rich" [syn: {coarse}, {uncouth}, {vulgar}]
9: to be expected; standard; "common decency"
n : a piece of open land for recreational use in an urban area;
"they went for a walk in the park" [syn: {park}, {commons},

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