3. A title given by courtesy to the senior captain of a line of merchant vessels, and also to the chief
officer of a yachting or rowing club.
4. A familiar for the flagship, or for the principal vessel of a squadron or fleet.
(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, Goth. gamains common, G. gemein, and E. mean low, common. Cf. Immunity, Commune,
n. & v.]
1. Belonging or relating equally, or similarly, to more than one; as, you and I have a common interest in
Though life and sense be common to men and brutes.
Sir M. Hale.
2. Belonging to or shared by, affecting or serving, all the members of a class, considered together; general; public; as,
properties common to all plants; the common schools; the Book of Common Prayer.
Such actions as the common good requireth.
The common enemy of man.
3. Often met with; usual; frequent; customary.
Grief more than common grief.
4. Not distinguished or exceptional; inconspicuous; ordinary; plebeian; often in a depreciatory sense.
The honest, heart-felt enjoyment of common life.
This fact was infamous
And ill beseeming any common man,
Much more a knight, a captain and a leader.
Above the vulgar flight of common souls.
5. Profane; polluted. [Obs.]
What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
Acts x. 15.
6. Given to habits of lewdness; prostitute.
A dame who herself was common. 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 municipal 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