KJV Dictionary Definition: common



1. Belonging equally to more than one, or to many indefinitely; as, life and sense are common to man and beast; the common privileges of citizens; the common wants of men.

2. Belonging to the public; having no separate owner. The right to a highway is common.

3. General; serving for the use of all; as the common prayer.

4. Universal; belonging to all; as, the earth is said to be the common mother of mankind.

5. Public; general; frequent; as common report.

6. Usual; ordinary; as the common operations of nature; the common forms of conveyance; the common rules of civility.

7. Of no rank or superior excellence; ordinary. Applied to men, it signifies, not noble, not distinguished by noble descent, or not distinguished by office, character or talents; as a common man; a common soldier. Applied to things, it signifies, not distinguished by excellence or superiority; as a common essay; a common exertion. It however is not generally equivalent to mean, which expresses something lower in rank or estimation.

8. Prostitute; lewd; as a common woman.

9. In grammar, such verbs as signify both action and passion, are called common; as aspernor, I despise or am despised; also, such nouns as are both masculine and feminine, as parens.

10. A common bud, in botany, is one that contains both leaves and flowers; a common peduncle, one that bears several flowers; a common perianth, one that incloses several distinct fructification; a common receptacle, one that connects several distinct fructification.

Common divisor, in mathematics, is a number or quantity that divides two or more numbers or quantities without a remainder.

Common Law, in Great Britain and the United States, the unwritten law, the law that receives its binding force from immemorial usage and universal reception, in distinction from the written or statute law. That body of rules, principles and customs which have been received from our ancestors, and by which courts have been governed in their judicial decisions. The evidence of this law is to be found in the reports of those decisions, and the records of the courts. Some of these rules may have originated in edicts or statutes which are now lost, or in the terms and conditions of particular grants or charters; but it is most probable that many of them originated in judicial decisions founded on natural justice and equity, or on local customs.

Common pleas, in Great Britain, one of the kings courts, now held in Westminster-Hall. It consists of a chief justice and three other justices, and has cognizance of all civil causes, real, personal or mixed, as well by original writ, as by removal from the inferior courts. A writ of error, in the nature of an appeal, lies from this court to the court of kings bench.

In some of the American states, a court of common pleas is an inferior court, whose jurisdiction is limited to a county, and it is sometimes called a county court. This court is variously constituted in different states, and its powers are defined by statutes. It has jurisdiction of civil causes, and of minor offenses; but its final jurisdiction is very limited; all causes of magnitude being removable to a higher Court by appeal or by writ of error.prayer, the liturgy of the Church of England, which all the clergy of the Church are enjoined to use, under a penalty.

Common recovery, a legal process for recovering an estate or barring entails.

Common time, in music, duple or double time, when the semibreve is equal to two minims.

In common, equally with another, or with others; to be equally used or participated by two or more; as tenants in common; to provide for children in common; to assign lands to two persons in common, or to twenty in common; we enjoy the bounties of providence in common.


1. A tract of ground, the use of which is not appropriated to an individual, but belongs to the public or to a number. Thus we apply the word to an open ground or space in a highway, reserved for public use.

2. In law, an open ground, or that soil the use of which belongs equally to the inhabitants of a town or of a lordship, or to a certain number of proprietors; or the profit which a man has in the land of another; or a right which a person has to pasture has cattle on land of another, or to dig turf, or catch fish, or cut wood, or the like; called common of pasture, of turbary, of piscary, and of estovers.

Common, or right of common, is appendant, appurtenant, because of vicinage, or in gross.

Common appendant is a right belonging to the owners or occupiers of arable land to put commonable beasts upon the lords waste, and upon the lands of other persons within the same manor. This is a matter of most universal right.

Common appurtenant may be annexed to lands in other lordships, or extend to other beasts, besides those which are generally commonable; this is not of common right, but can be claimed only b immemorial usage and prescription.

Common because of vicinage or neighborhood, is where the inhabitants of two townships, lying contiguous to each other, have usually intercommoned with one another, the beasts of the one straying into the others fields; this is a permissive right.

Common in gross or at large, is annexed to a mans 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.

COMMON, v.i.

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

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



1. Held in common.

2. That may be pastured on common land.

Commonable beasts are either beasts of the plow, or such as manure the ground.



1. One of the lower rank, or common people; one under the degree of nobility.

2. A member of the house of commons.

3. One who has a joint right in common ground.

4. A student of the second rank in the universities in England; one who eats at a common table.

5. A prostitute.

6. A partaker.



1. Frequent occurrence; a state of being common or usual.

2. Equal participation by two or more.


COMMONS, n. plu.

1. The common people, who inherit or possess no honors or titles; the vulgar.

2. In England, the lower house of Parliament, consisting of the representatives of cities, boroughs and counties, chosen by men possessed of the property or qualifications required by law. This body is called the House of Commons. The House of Representatives in North Carolina bears the same name.

3. Common grounds; land possessed or used by two or more persons in common.

4. Food provided at a common table, as in colleges, where many persons eat at the same table or in the same hall.

Their commons, though but coarse, were nothing scant.

Doctors Commons, in London, a college founded by Dr. Harvey, for the professors of the civil law, where the civilians common together. The house was consumed in the great fire in 1666, but rebuilt in 1672. To this college belong thirty four proctors.