Extraordinary vs. Ordinary: What's the Difference?
Extraordinary refers to something exceptional and beyond the ordinary, while ordinary refers to what is common, usual, or expected.
Extraordinary and ordinary are two contrasting terms that denote different levels of uniqueness and commonness. Extraordinary is a term used to describe something that is beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular, or established. It signifies something that is exceptional, remarkable, and stands out due to its qualities or characteristics. This term is often attributed to instances, objects, or people that surpass the average or common standards, showcasing a level of superiority, uniqueness, or rarity in various aspects.
Conversely, ordinary refers to the regular, usual, or customary condition or state of being. It is something that conforms to the common or prevalent type and does not possess any distinctive, unique, or exceptional features or qualities. Ordinary can describe everyday occurrences, common people, or regular objects that do not deviate from the established norms or do not display any unusual characteristics or abilities. The term is used to denote the lack of exceptionality or specialty in any given context.
The distinction between extraordinary and ordinary is essentially a measure of uniqueness and commonness. While extraordinary items, people, or events are distinguished by their rareness and exceptionality, ordinary ones are characterized by their prevalence and conformity to common standards. Extraordinary is synonymous with exceptional, unparalleled, and uncommon, depicting a state or condition that is not ordinary. On the other hand, ordinary is synonymous with standard, normal, and usual, depicting a state or condition that is conventional and expected.
Extraordinary occurrences make us pause and reflect due to their unexpected and remarkable nature, challenging our perceptions and understanding of what is considered common or usual. They can inspire awe, admiration, and curiosity as they defy the norms and exceed the limitations of the ordinary. In contrast, ordinary occurrences are part of our daily experiences and do not usually provoke much thought or reflection as they align with our expectations and experiences of what is considered normal or typical.
In summary, extraordinary refers to the unusual, exceptional, and remarkable, while ordinary pertains to the common, regular, and customary. The difference between the two lies in the level of uniqueness, exceptionality, and commonness they embody.
Beyond what is usual, ordinary, or established.
Conforming to the common or prevalent type.
Exceptional, rare, and stands out.
Common, prevalent, and conforms to norms.
Occurs less frequently.
Occurs more frequently.
Positive, implying superiority or distinctiveness.
Neutral, implying normality or averageness.
Exceptional, remarkable, unparalleled.
Standard, normal, usual.
Extraordinary and Ordinary Definitions
Surpassing the common degree or measure.
His generosity is truly extraordinary.
Lacking special features; simple.
He led an ordinary life, content with simple pleasures.
Beyond what is usual or ordinary.
The magician performed extraordinary tricks.
Commonly encountered; usual
An ordinary delay at the bridge tolls.
Remarkable and outstanding.
It was an extraordinary achievement to win the gold medal.
Having no special ability, quality, or purpose
Ordinary black tea.
Exceptional in character.
Her extraordinary intellect was evident from a young age.
Not particularly good; not better than average
The service was good, but the food was very ordinary.
Unusually great or extreme.
The concert was an extraordinary success.
(Law) Having direct authority to decide a case, rather than being delegated that power, as a judge.
Beyond what is ordinary or usual
(Mathematics) Designating a differential equation containing no more than one independent variable.
Highly exceptional; remarkable
An extraordinary achievement.
The usual or normal condition or course of events
Nothing out of the ordinary occurred.
Employed or used for a special service, function, or occasion
A minister extraordinary.
An extraordinary professor.
(Law) A judge with direct authority as opposed to delegated authority to decide a case.
Not ordinary; exceptional; unusual.
The parts of the Mass that remain unchanged from day to day.
An extraordinary poet
A division of the Roman Breviary containing the unchangeable parts of the office other than the Psalms.
Special or supernumerary.
The physician extraordinary in a royal household
An extraordinary professor in a German university
A cleric, such as the residential bishop of a diocese, with ordinary jurisdiction over a specified territory.
Anything that goes beyond what is ordinary.
(Heraldry) One of the simplest and commonest charges, such as the bend and the cross.
Beyond or out of the common order or method; not usual, customary, regular, or ordinary; as, extraordinary evils; extraordinary remedies.
Which disposeTo something extraordinary my thoughts.
A complete meal provided at a fixed price.
Exceeding the common degree, measure. or condition; hence, remarkable; uncommon; rare; wonderful; as, extraordinary talents or grandeur.
A tavern or inn providing such a meal.
Employed or sent upon an unusual or special service; as, an ambassador extraordinary.
A person with authority; authority, ordinance.
That which is extraordinary; - used especially in the plural; as, extraordinaries excepted, there is nothing to prevent success.
Their extraordinary did consist especially in the matter of prayers and devotions.
A person having immediate jurisdiction in a given case of ecclesiastical law, such as the bishop within a diocese.
Beyond what is ordinary or usual; highly unusual or exceptional or remarkable;
An extraordinary achievement
Her extraordinary beauty
Enjoyed extraordinary popularity
An extraordinary capacity for work
An extraordinary session of the legislature
(obsolete) A courier; someone delivering mail or post.
Far more than usual or expected;
An extraordinary desire for approval
It was an over-the-top experience
(law) A judge with the authority to deal with cases himself or herself rather than by delegation.
(of an official) serving an unusual or special function in addition to those of the regular officials;
An ambassador extraordinary
The chaplain of Newgate prison, who prepared condemned prisoners for death.
Something ordinary or regular.
(obsolete) Customary fare, one's regular daily allowance of food; hence a regular portion or allowance.
A meal provided for a set price at an eating establishment.
A place where such meals are served; a public tavern, inn.
(heraldry) One of the standard geometric designs placed across the center of a coat of arms, such as a pale or fess.
An ordinary person or thing; something commonplace.
The usual course of things; normal condition or health; a standard way of behaviour or action.
A penny farthing bicycle.
(Christianity) A part of the Christian liturgy that is reasonably constant without regard to the date on which the service is performed.
A book setting out ordinary or regular conduct.
(obsolete) A devotional manual; a book setting our rules for proper conduct.
(Christianity) A rule, or book of rules, prescribing the order of service, especially of Mass.
Having regular jurisdiction; now only used in certain phrases.
Being part of the natural order of things; normal, customary, routine.
On an ordinary day I wake up at nine o'clock, work for six hours, and then go to the gym.
Having no special characteristics or function; everyday, common, mundane; often deprecatory.
I live a very ordinary life most of the time, but every year I spend a week in Antarctica.
He looked so ordinary, I never thought he'd be capable of murder.
Bad or undesirable.
According to established order; methodical; settled; regular.
Common; customary; usual.
Method is not less requisite in ordinary conversation that in writing.
Of common rank, quality, or ability; not distinguished by superior excellence or beauty; hence, not distinguished in any way; commonplace; inferior; of little merit; as, men of ordinary judgment; an ordinary book.
An ordinary lad would have acquired little or no useful knowledge in such a way.
An officer who has original jurisdiction in his own right, and not by deputation.
The mass; the common run.
I see no more in you than in the ordinaryOf nature's salework.
That which is so common, or continued, as to be considered a settled establishment or institution.
Spain had no other wars save those which were grown into an ordinary.
Anything which is in ordinary or common use.
Water buckets, wagons, cart wheels, plow socks, and other ordinaries.
A dining room or eating house where a meal is prepared for all comers, at a fixed price for the meal, in distinction from one where each dish is separately charged; a table d'hôte; hence, also, the meal furnished at such a dining room.
All the odd words they have picked up in a coffeehouse, or a gaming ordinary, are produced as flowers of style.
He exacted a tribute for licenses to hawkers and peddlers and to ordinaries.
A charge or bearing of simple form, one of nine or ten which are in constant use. The bend, chevron, chief, cross, fesse, pale, and saltire are uniformly admitted as ordinaries. Some authorities include bar, bend sinister, pile, and others. See Subordinary.
A judge of a probate court
The expected or commonplace condition or situation;
Not out of the ordinary
A clergyman appointed to prepare condemned prisoners for death
An early bicycle with a very large front wheel and small back wheel
(heraldry) any of several conventional figures used on shields
Not exceptional in any way especially in quality or ability or size or degree;
Ordinary everyday objects
An ordinary day
An ordinary wine
Lacking special distinction, rank, or status; commonly encountered;
The ordinary (or common) man in the street
Commonly encountered; usual.
It was just an ordinary day with no surprises.
Of no special quality; average.
It's an ordinary cup with no unique features.
Regular or normal.
She’s an ordinary person with an extraordinary dream.
Having no distinctive features.
The room was ordinary, with standard furniture.
Is being ordinary underrated?
It can be; ordinary can mean stable, consistent, and relatable, which are valuable qualities.
Does extraordinary always mean positive?
Not necessarily; it means beyond the ordinary, which can be either positive or negative based on context.
Is being extraordinary always better?
It can be subjective; being extraordinary can be beneficial in some circumstances, but sometimes being ordinary is valued.
Can an ordinary person do extraordinary things?
Absolutely, many ordinary individuals achieve extraordinary feats through effort, determination, and creativity.
Are extraordinary events always rare?
Typically, yes; they are deemed extraordinary because they deviate from the usual or common occurrences.
Can something ordinary become extraordinary?
Yes, changes in perspective, context, or enhancements can make ordinary things extraordinary.
Is the pursuit of the extraordinary stressful?
It can be, as it might involve facing challenges, uncertainties, and high expectations.
Do extraordinary people lead happier lives?
Not necessarily, as they might face high expectations and pressure, impacting happiness.
Can ordinary be unique?
Yes, as what's ordinary in one context can be unique in another.
Is ordinary synonymous with boring?
Not always; what’s ordinary can be comforting and familiar, and it’s subjective.
Can an extraordinary life be fulfilling?
It can be fulfilling, but it may also come with challenges, and fulfillment is subjective.
Is the ordinary life unremarkable?
It may seem unremarkable in comparison, but ordinary lives can have remarkable aspects and moments.
Can ordinary people live extraordinary lives?
Yes, by embracing uniqueness, pursuing passions, and making a difference, ordinary people can live extraordinary lives.
Can the pursuit of the extraordinary lead to innovation?
Yes, striving for the extraordinary often drives innovation and the development of new ideas and solutions.
Can extraordinary be achieved by effort?
Effort can play a significant role in achieving the extraordinary, along with other factors like opportunity and luck.
Written bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited bySumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.