Something which occurs or appears frequently or is familiar to many people. For example, sand is common on the beach, and computer knowledge is common among Everything users.

Also, someone who is coarse and lacks refinement. If you belch loudly and chew with your mouth open at the country club, the snooty society matrons will be sure to sniff, "Hmph! How common!"

A very smart man and rap artist from Chicago. A Chicago Bulls ball boy as a kid, he was known by the name Common Sense for his first two albums, Can I Borrow a Dollar?, and Resurrection. He shortened his name to Common for his third album One Day It'll All Make Sense. His latest release is Like Water for Chocolate, the title taken from the film of the same name. He is part of the okayplayer collective, and has collaborated with artists such as Lauryn Hill, The Roots, and KRS-One.

Common is also the name of the language that nearly everyone speaks in TSR roleplaying games. (D&D, AD&D, and other). It is basically the same language as English, (but it is not called english because most RPG worlds do not feature anyplace called England). Common is apparently universal because even creatures such as Demons, mermaids and Dragons can often speak common fluently.

In sports card collecting, the "commons" are the cards in a series which have no particular value and are not sought after, other than to complete a series or if someone likes an undistinguished player. The term common doesn't refer to the number of cards printed or in circulation, just that the demand for these players is absent.

I bring you yet another construction-minded writeup. You will now be swept into the exciting world of the common truss. Note: Reading my truss writeup may help with some of the terms involved here.

The common truss is called such because it is the most common truss in a roof. It is also the most simple truss and the truss most universally recognized as a truss. I will now pretend I can do ASCII Art and draw a common truss:

                    / | \
                   /  |  \
                  /   |   \
                 /\   |   /\
                /  \  |  /  \
               /    \ | /    \
             /                 \

Is it perfect? Hell no. But you get the idea. As you can see, the common consists of equal-length top chords, the bottom chord, a kingpost up the middle, and congruent end webs. There are, of course, variations on the common theme, but this one is all we'll need to work with. One of the best things about common trusses is the uniformity of it all. An ideal roof will have tons of these (though nowadays folks are building all kinds of crazy houses with roofs that don't make sense).

The common is the granddaddy of all trusses; the original truss. Back in the day, all that was built were common trusses. Then, this sort of dark age of construction came about and people wanted strange and geometrically exciting things like vaulted cathedral ceilings.

There is nothing on this planet that is more satisfying to build than a roof full of common trusses. I am going to experience this again in about 22 hours and it makes me tingly. When you are building a series of commons, you really feel like you're doing something. This is largely a result of the repitition of the process. You repeat the same procedure over and over and you do not have to stop to take measurements or re-center everything like you very well may have to with scissor trusses or crazy junk like that. I am feeling very emotional about the common truss so I will describe the experience.

You are the table man. You've already stocked the table and set up your jig. There are huge stacks of bottom and top chords on the table to your left and right. All of the plates have been laid out. Everything is ready. You do some quick calculating. Three men working on a 26 foot truss will take about 7 minutes per truss. We have thirty to build. 210 minutes is 3 and a half hours. That means, when we're done, it's lunch time. Words can not describe the satisfaction. You know that for three and a half hours or longer, you will be working, being completely productive. You hope to God that Tony doesn't talk the whole time, though he likely will, about how many guys he killed playing Firearms last night. You will ignore him. This is your time. You are the table man, and you love the common truss.

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, Coth. gamains common, G. gemein, and E. mean low, common. Cf. Immunity, Commune, n. & v.]


Beelonging or relating equally, or similary, 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.


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

Such actions as the common good requereth. Hocker.

The common enemy of man. Shak.


Often met with; usual; frequent; customary.

Grief more than common grief. Shak.


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. Shak.

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


Profane; polluted.


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


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 munisipal 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. Wharton. 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 large. -- 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, botth 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 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; universal; frequent; ordinary; customary; usual; familiar; habitual; vulgar; mean; trite; stale; threadbare; commonplace. See Mutual, Ordinary, General.


© Webster 1913.

Com"mon (?), n.


The people; the community.

[Obs.] "The weal o' the common."



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 estate. -- 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.


© Webster 1913.

Com"mon, v. i.


To converse together; to discourse; to confer.


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


To participate.


Sir T. More.


To have a joint right with others in common ground.



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


© Webster 1913.

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