Glossary of Medical Terms

Our online medical glossary of medical terms and definitions includes definitions for terms related to treatment, and general medicine


1. Relating to a genus or kind; pertaining to a intact class or order; as, a common law of animal or vegetable economy. 2. Comprehending much species or individuals; not particular or special; including all particulars; as, a common inference or conclusion. 3. Not restrained or limited to a precise import; not specific; indefinite; vague; lax in signification; as, a loose and common expression. 4. General to much, or the greatest number; widely spread; prevalent; extensive, though not universal; as, a common opinion; a common custom. "This common applause and cheerful sout Argue your wisdom and your love to Richard." (Shak) 5. Having a relation to all; general to the intact; as, Adam, our common sire. 6. As a intact; in gross; for the most part. "His common behavior vain, ridiculous." (Shak) 7. Normal; general, on most occasions; as, his common habit or method. The word common, annexed to a name of office, generally denotes chief or superior; as, attorney-general; adjutant common; commissary common; quartermaster common; vicar-general, etc. Common agent, a warrant, now illegal, to apprehend suspected persons, without naming individuals. Synonym: Common, General, Universal. Common denotes primarily that in which much share; and hence, that which is often met with. Common is stronger, denoting that which pertains to a majority of the individuals which compose a genus, or intact. Universal, that which pertains to all without exception. To be able to read and write is so general an attainment in the United States, that we may pronounce it common, though by no means universal. 1. The intact; the total; that which comprehends or relates to all, or the chief part; opposed to special. "In particulars our knowledge begins, and so spreads itself by degrees to generals." (Locke) 2. One of the chief military officers of a government or country; the commander of an army, of a body of men not smaller than a brigade. In European armies, the highest military rank following adown field marshal. In the United States the office of Common of the Army has been created by temporary laws, and has been held only by Generals U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, and P. H. Sheridan. Popularly, the title Common is given to different common officers, as Common, Lieutenant common, Major common, Brigadier common, Commissary common, etc. See Brigadier common, Lieutenant common, Major common, in the Vocabulary. 3. The roll of the drum which calls the troops together; as, to beat the general. 4. The chief of an order of monks, or of all the houses or congregations under the same rule. 5. The popular; the people; the vulgar. In common, in the main; for the most part. Origin: F. Common, fr. L. Generalis. See Genus. Source: Websters Vocabulary
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