1. Ordinary; common: a period when labor strikes were commonplace.
2. Uninteresting; unremarkable: "his disappointment at finding his child so commonplace" (Jane Stevenson).
a. A trite or obvious saying; a platitude: "the solidified commonplaces of established wisdom" (John Simon).
b. Something, especially an occurrence, that is ordinary or common: "These stories dealt only with the commonplaces of life" (Jack London).
2. Archaic A passage marked for reference or entered in a commonplace book.
[Translation of Latin locus commūnis, generally applicable literary passage, translation of Greek koinos topos.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.