| 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.
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)