common denominator


Definition of common denominator 

1 : a common multiple of the denominators of a number of fractions

2 : a common trait or theme

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Synonyms & Antonyms for common denominator


congruity, correspondence, parallel, resemblance, similarity, similitude



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Examples of common denominator in a Sentence

Drugs seem to be the common denominator in these crimes.

Recent Examples on the Web

The lack of creative energy amongst a second rate playing staff has been the common denominator for the club's failures all season long., "The Swans Come Home to Roost: Why Corporate Greed Means Swansea Deserve Relegation," 9 May 2018 An impressive common denominator in both Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez’s first career starts was each young pitcher’s ability to work their way out of stressful innings while limiting damage. Andre C. Fernandez, miamiherald, "Composure a common attribute in both Miami Marlins’ pitching prospect’s strong debuts," 1 July 2018 Digging deeper, Monzo discovered a common denominator — 70% of the affected customers had used Ticketmaster between December 2017 and April 2018. Jonathan Sperling, Fortune, "Ticketmaster Knew of Data Breach Months Before It Alerted Customers, Bank Says," 29 June 2018 What’s the common denominator in the comments from the parents? Michelle Singletary,, "No, an allowance doesn’t teach your children how to manage money," 11 May 2018 Not all teams and not all players believe in two-strike approaches, but the ability to excel when one strike from a punchout has been a common denominator of recent champions. Alex Speier,, "What’s up with all the strikeouts in Major League Baseball?," 12 July 2018 Rivalry brewing? Wickens: 'There’s a common denominator with these incidents. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: IndyCar could use a rivalry, will Rossi vs. Wickens, Sato persist?," 25 June 2018 Hungry Sumo and Sushi Go have a couple of other common denominators — most important, fish that’s better than what is often found at sushi places. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Hungry Sumo gives sushi lovers a big welcome in Bay View," 29 May 2018 Is engagement, above all, driving us to lowest common denominators to just have more clicks, and more time, and all of that stuff. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full video and transcript: 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch at Code 2018," 30 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'common denominator.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of common denominator

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for common denominator

The first known use of common denominator was in 1594

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More Definitions for common denominator

common denominator


English Language Learners Definition of common denominator

mathematics : a number that can be divided by each of the denominators of a group of fractions

: something (such as a feature or quality) that is shared by all the members of a group of people or things

common denominator


Kids Definition of common denominator

: a common multiple of the denominators of a number of fractions

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Comments on common denominator

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lying above or upon

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