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Definitions of Common

  1. (adjective) Occurring frequently; usual; widespread.
  2. (adjective) Shared; jointly owned.

Examples of Common

Common Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: com·mon

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /kAHm-uhn/
  • British English – /kOm-uhn/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈkɑmən/
  • British English – /ˈkɒmən/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: commons
  • Common occurrences (adverb) commonly happen and have (noun) commonness.

Related Quotations

  • “Masculine privilege and its benefits are real, but they’re often hard to see. They go unrecognized because they’re so common. The ideological, structural, and institutional factors of masculine privilege tend to remain invisible. And men tend to be unaware of their own privileges as men” (Tarrant 2009:90).
  • “The totality of beliefs and sentiments common to average members of the same society forms a particular system with a life of its own life; one might call it the collective or common consciousness” (Durkheim [1893] 2004:24).

Additional Information

Related Terms


Durkheim, Émile. [1893] 2004. “The Division of Labour in Society.” Pp. 19–38 in Readings from Emile Durkheim. Rev. ed., edited and translated by K. Thompson. New York: Routledge.

Tarrant, Shira. 2009. Men and Feminism. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press.

Works Consulted

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. (https://wordnet.princeton.edu/).

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).

Cite the Definition of Common

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “common.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved July 18, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/common/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

common. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/common/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “common.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed July 18, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/common/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“common.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 18 Jul. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/common/>.