| Definition -
A name that is used to designate a class of objects. As opposed to a proper name, which is used to designate a particular individual entity.
1. They are not usually written with initial capital letters.
2. The study of common names, especially when they form terminologies, is called onomasiology.
Example - dog, book, baseball player, and dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary - The term's first citation is from 1596:
"Homo is a common name to all men."
(Shakes. 1 Hen. IV, ii. i. 104)