Mundane came originally from the Latin mundus, meaning the quotidian, ordinary and worldly as opposed to spiritual, and has been in use in English since the 15th century.

In economics, utility is a measure of the satisfaction that a certain person has from a certain state of the world. Over time, the term has been used in at least two different meanings.• In a normative context, utility refers to a goal or objective that we wish to maximize, i.e. an objective function. This kind of utility bears a closer resemblance to the original utilitarian concept, developed by moral philosophers such as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill.
• In a descriptive context, the term refers to an apparent objective function; such a function is revealed by a person's behavior, and especially by their preferences over lotteries.

The relationship between these two kinds of utility functions is highly controversial among both economists and ethicists.
In subcultural and fictional uses, a mundane is a person who does not belong to a particular group, according to the members of that group; the implication is that such persons, lacking imagination, are concerned solely with the mundane: the quotidian and ordinary.