Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


Even the commonest restaurant had great respectability to him.

And yet the courage of the soldier is the commonest of virtues.

For push and greed are among the commonest faults of an aristocracy.

Pray be seated, but really I am forgetting the commonest rules of breeding.

Self-humiliation is the first step to knowledge, even of the commonest things.

I might have guessed it; would have guessed it if I had possessed the commonest of common-sense.

He confessed apologetically that it was the commonest sort of curiosity.

Who ever had the safer road to fortune if he could have walked with the commonest prudence?

Growing on old wood; one of the commonest of the Myxomycetes.

This is the commonest deer of the hill country in the centre of the continent.


c.1300, "belonging to all, general," from Old French comun "common, general, free, open, public" (9c., Modern French commun), from Latin communis "in common, public, shared by all or many; general, not specific; familiar, not pretentious," from PIE *ko-moin-i- "held in common," compound adjective formed from *ko- "together" + *moi-n-, suffixed form of root *mei- "change, exchange" (see mutable), hence literally "shared by all."

Second element of the compound also is the source of Latin munia "duties, public duties, functions," those related to munia "office." Perhaps reinforced in Old French by the Germanic form of PIE *ko-moin-i- (cf. Old English gemæne "common, public, general, universal;" see mean (adj.)), which came to French via Frankish.

Used disparagingly of women and criminals since c.1300. Common pleas is 13c., from Anglo-French communs plets, hearing civil actions by one subject against another as opposed to pleas of the crown. Common prayer is contrasted with private prayer. Common stock is attested from 1888.

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.