1. [syn: scold, scolder, nag, nagger, common scold]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Common \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 the property.
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. --Hooker.
The common enemy of man. --Shak.
3. Often met with; usual; frequent; customary.
Grief more than common grief. --Shak.
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. --Shak.
Above the vulgar flight of common souls. --A.
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. --L'Estrange.
Common bar (Law) Same as Blank bar, under Blank.
Common barrator (Law), one who makes a business of
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 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.
Note: 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
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, both 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 to 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.
(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
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; national; universal; frequent;
ordinary; customary; usual; familiar; habitual; vulgar;
mean; trite; stale; threadbare; commonplace. See
Mutual, Ordinary, General.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: someone (especially a woman) who annoys people by
constantly finding fault [syn: scold, scolder, nag,
nagger, common scold]
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
COMMON SCOLD, Crim. law, communes rixatrix. A woman, who, in consequence of
her boisterous, disorderly and quarrelsome tongue, is a public nuisance to
2. Such a woman may be indicted, and on conviction, punished. At common
law, the punishment was by being placed in a certain engine of correction
called the trebucket or cocking stool.
3. This punishment has been abolished in Pennsylvania, where the
offence may be punished by fine and imprisonment. 12 Serg. & Rawle, 220;
vide 1 Russ. on Cr. 802 Hawk. B. 2, c. 25, s. 59 1 T. R. 756 4 Rogers' Rec.
90; Roscoe on Cr. Ev. 665.