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COM-MO'DI-OUS, a. [Fr. commode; It. comodo; Sp. id.; L. commodus. See Mode.]

Convenient; suitable; fit; proper; adapted to its use or purpose, or to wants and necessities; as, a commodious house or room. The haven was not commodious to winter in. – Acts xxvii. 12. It is followed by for before a noun; as, a place commodious for a camp.


Conveniently; in a commodious manner; suitably; in a manner to afford ease, or to prevent uneasiness; as, a house commodiously situated; we may pass life commodiously without the restraints of ceremony.


Convenience; fitness; suitableness for its purpose; as, the commodiousness of a house or an apartment; the commodiousness of a situation for trade.

COM-MOD'I-TY, n. [L. commoditas; It. comodità; Fr. commodité; W; Sp. comodidad; Port. commodidade. See Commode.]

  1. Primarily, convenience; profit; advantage; interest. “Men seek their own commodity.” In this sense it was used by Hooker, Sidney, &c.; but this is nearly or wholly obsolete.
  2. That which affords ease, convenience or advantage; any thing that is useful, but particularly in commerce, including every thing movable that is bought and sold, goods, wares, merchandise, produce of land and manufactures. Unless perhaps animals may be excepted, the word includes all the movables which are objects of commerce. Commodities are movables, valuable by money, the common measure. – Locke. The principal use of money is to save the commutation of more bulky commodities. – Arbuthnot. Staple commodities are these which are the produce or manufacture of a country, and constitute the principal articles of exportation. Thus flour is the staple commodity of New York and Pennsylvania; flour and tobacco, of Maryland and Virginia; cotton and rice, of South Carolina and Georgia; cotton and sugar, of Louisiana.

COM'MO-DORE, n. [This word is probably a corruption of the Italian comandatore, a commander; or the Spanish comendador, a superior of a monastery, or a knight who holds a commandry.]

  1. The officer who commands a squadron or detachment of ships, destined on a particular enterprise. In the British marine, he bears the rank of a brigadier-general in the army, and his ship is distinguished by a broad red pendant, tapering to the outer end, and sometimes forked. – Encyc.
  2. A title given by courtesy to the senior captain, when three or more ships of war are cruising in company. – Mar. Dict.
  3. The convoy or leading ship in a fleet of merchantmen, which carries a light in her top to conduct the other ships.

COM-MOD-U-LA'TION, n. [L. con and modulatio.]

Measure; agreement. [Little used.] – Hakewill.

COM'MOIGNE, n. [Fr.]

A monk of the same convent. [Not in use.] – Selden.

COM'MON, a. [L. communis; Fr. commun; Arm. coumun; It. comune; Sp. comun; Port. commum; Goth. gamains; Sax. gemæn; G. gemein; D. gemeen; Sw. gemen; Dan. gemeen; Ir. cumann; Goth. gamana, a fellow, fellowship. This word may be composed of cum and man, men, the plural men being equivalent to people and vulgus. The last syllable is clearly from the root of many, which seems to belong to the root of man, and mean is of the same family. Hence we see the connection between common and mean, as vulgar, from vulgus, Eng. folks.]

  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 fructifications; a common receptacle, one that connects several distinct fructifications. – Martyn. 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 king's 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 king's bench. – Blackstone. 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. Common prayer, the liturgy of the Church of England, which all the clergy of the Church are enjoined to use, under a penalty. – Encyc. 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.

COM'MON, adv.



  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 his 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 lord's 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 by 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 other's fields; this is a permissive right. Common in gross or at large, is 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.

COM'MON, v.i.

  1. To have a joint right with others in common ground. – Johnson.
  2. To board together; to eat at a table in common. – Encyc.


  1. Held in common. – Bacon.
  2. That may be pastured on common land. Commonable beasts are either beasts of the plow, or such as manure the ground. – Blackstone.


The right of pasturing on a common; the joint right of using any thing in common with others. – Johnson.


  1. The common people. In Great Britain, all classes and conditions of people, who are below the rank of nobility. The commonalty, like the nobility, are divided into several degrees. – Blackstone. In the United States, commonalty has no very definite signification. It is however used to denote that part of the people who live by labor, and are not liberally educated, nor elevated by office or professional pursuits.
  2. The bulk of mankind. – Hooker.


The council of a city or corporate town, empowered to make by-laws for the government of the citizens. The common-council of London consists of two houses; the upper house, composed of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen; and the lower house of the common-council-men, elected by the several wards. In most of the American cities, the Mayor, Aldermen and common-council-men constitute one body, called a Court of Common-Council. [The common-councils sometimes consist of two houses, chambers, or courts, (as at Norwich,) and sometimes form only one. The city of London is divided into 24 wards; the supreme magistrate of each ward has the title of Alderman: the 24 Aldermen, with the Lord Mayor, form the Court of Aldermen; each ward annually chooses a certain number of the inhabitants, who are sworn to assist the Aldermen with their advice in all public affairs, and they form the Court of Common-Council. – E. H. B.]


A member of a common-council.


A crier whose occupation is to give notice of lost things.


  1. One of the lower rank, or common people; one under the degree of nobility. – Addison.
  2. A member of the House of Commons. – Swift.
  3. One who has a joint right in common ground. – Bacon.
  4. A student of the second rank in the universities in England; one who eats at a common table. – Johnson.
  5. A prostitute. – Shak.
  6. A partaker. – Fuller.


A hall or house in which citizens meet for business.

COM-MO-NI'TION, n. [L. commonitio. See Monition.]

Advice; warning; instruction. [Little used.]


Warning; monitory. [Little used.]


Calling to mind; giving admonition. – Fox.


See LAW.


One versed in common law. – Spelman.


Having a common appearance.