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Idioms

run-of-the-mill

This page is about the idiom run-of-the-mill

Meaning

Something is run-of-the-mill if it is ordinary and nothing special.

For example

  • There wasn't much on TV so we just watched some run-of-the-mill old cowboy movie.

  • I don't know why he won the competition. He wasn't terrible, but he wasn't anything special either; just a run-of-the-mill singer as far as I could see.

Origin: A mill is a building in which machinery makes products, like a factory. The phrase "run of the mill" first referred especially to machine-made clothes, which were seen as less "special" than hand-made clothes. The phrase than began to be used idiomatically to describe anything that was not special, but was a standard or typical example of something.

Quick Quiz

Natasha says she's tired of going to run-of-the-mill restaurants every night. She wants to

a. go somewhere special

b. go somewhere cheap

c. go somewhere normal
a) go somewhere special b) go somewhere cheap c) go somewhere normal

See Idiom of the Day today

Contributor: Matt Errey