ordinary


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in ordinary

1. In regular or active service (to another person). Primarily heard in UK. I'm the counsel in ordinary to the prime minister—please let me through!
2. Of a naval vessel, not currently being used. No, that ship is in ordinary these days—it needs some extensive repairs.
See also: ordinary

out of the ordinary

unusual. It was a good meal, but not out of the ordinary. Your report was nicely done, but nothing out of the ordinary.
See also: of, ordinary, out

out of the ordinary

Unusual, uncommon, exceptional, as in The venison they served was certainly out of the ordinary. This expression sometimes, but not always, indicates that something is better than the usual. However, the negative version, nothing out of the ordinary, usually indicates that something is not special or outstanding, as in It was an interesting lecture, but nothing out of the ordinary.
See also: of, ordinary, out
References in classic literature ?
It seemed as if I were surrounded and enwrapped in some electric atmosphere which altered all the ordinary conditions of sensation.
If a working ant or other neuter insect had been an animal in the ordinary state, I should have unhesitatingly assumed that all its characters had been slowly acquired through natural selection; namely, by an individual having been born with some slight profitable modification of structure, this being inherited by its offspring, which again varied and were again selected, and so onwards.
In the simpler case of neuter insects all of one caste or of the same kind, which have been rendered by natural selection, as I believe to be quite possible, different from the fertile males and females,--in this case, we may safely conclude from the analogy of ordinary variations, that each successive, slight, profitable modification did not probably at first appear in all the individual neuters in the same nest, but in a few alone; and that by the long-continued selection of the fertile parents which produced most neuters with the profitable modification, all the neuters ultimately came to have the desired character.
It was a long commercial envelope of ordinary type, and although the flap was secured with a blob of sealing wax, there was no particular impression upon it.
The ordinary reader, almost inevitably, thinks of this underground person as another consciousness, prevented by what Freud calls the "censor" from making his voice heard in company, except on rare and dreadful occasions when he shouts so loud that every one hears him and there is a scandal.
Many of us do not believe in a world of the unconscious (a few of us even have grave doubts about the usefulness of the term consciousness), hence we try to explain censorship along ordinary biological lines.
The mysterious, enchanting Kitty herself could not love such an ugly person as he conceived himself to be, and, above all, such an ordinary, in no way striking person.
He had heard that women often did care for ugly and ordinary men, but he did not believe it, for he judged by himself, and he could not himself have loved any but beautiful, mysterious, and exceptional women.
He told me he did not come as ordinary of the place, whose business it is to extort confessions from prisoners, for private ends, or for the further detecting of other offenders; that his business was to move me to such freedom of discourse as might serve to disburthen my own mind, and furnish him to administer comfort to me as far as was in his power; and assured me, that whatever I said to him should remain with him, and be as much a secret as if it was known only to God and myself; and that he desired to know nothing of me, but as above to qualify him to apply proper advice and assistance to me, and to pray to God for me.
All the while the poor condemned creatures were preparing to their death, and the ordinary, as they call him, was busy with them, disposing them to submit to their sentence--I say, all this while I was seized with a fit of trembling, as much as I could have been if I had been in the same condition, as to be sure the day before I expected to be; I was so violently agitated by this surprising fit, that I shook as if it had been in the cold fit of an ague, so that I could not speak or look but like one distracted.
He was in hopes, he said, that I should have ended my days under the influence of good instruction, that I should not have been turned loose again among such a wretched crew as they generally are, who are thus sent abroad, where, as he said, I must have more than ordinary secret assistance from the grace of God, if I did not turn as wicked again as ever.
Want and sickness are too common in many stations of life to deserve more notice than is usually bestowed on the most ordinary vicissitudes of human nature.
It is a touching thing to hear the mind reverting to the ordinary occupations and pursuits of health, when the body lies before you weak and helpless; but when those occupations are of a character the most strongly opposed to anything we associate with grave and solemn ideas, the impression produced is infinitely more powerful.
Oh, the most ordinary," and suddenly Porfiry Petrovitch looked with obvious irony at him, screwing up his eyes and, as it were, winking at him.
Ordinary men have to live in submission, have no right to transgress the law, because, don't you see, they are ordinary.