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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Examples of common denominator in a Sentence

Drugs seem to be the common denominator in these crimes.
Recent Examples on the Web Bonton Village, like the South Dallas original, will be built around the common denominator of food: The farm creates jobs and fuels the restaurant, which in turn allows even more people to engage. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "Critics cried NIMBY when Lake Highlands rejected homeless housing, but Bonton Village plan looks like a win," 18 June 2020 But in cases where there was no drug use and the toxicology came back negative, the only common denominator in virtually every case was the involvement of law enforcement. Katie Wedell And Cara Kelly, USA TODAY, "'Excited delirium' cited as factor in many fatal police restraint cases. Some say it's bogus.," 14 June 2020 That feeling has become familiar, linked to a particular pattern of violence in which the common denominator is the color of our skin. George The Poet, Time, "Black Excellence Is Not Just a Hashtag. It’s an Economic Lifeline," 5 June 2020 Each has its own approach, but the common denominators are a focus on touch-free transactions (all require tickets or registering online) and safe distancing practices. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What's playing at the Milwaukee area's drive-in movie theaters this week," 4 June 2020 There are all kinds of Italian spritzes—the common denominators are Prosecco and sparkling water—but this version is timeless. Alex Erdekian, Condé Nast Traveler, "11 Italian Cocktails You Can Make at Home," 27 Apr. 2020 The common denominator for these emergence events was temperature, the researchers say. Sara Goudarzi, Scientific American, "How a Warming Climate Could Affect the Spread of Diseases Similar to COVID-19," 29 Apr. 2020 In a state the size of a subcontinent, with a bewildering array of climates and ecosystems, from dense forests to treeless tundra, sea level to the continent’s highest point, urban centers to the remotest locales, our one common denominator is snow. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "New book explores the world of snow, with all its wonder and potential deadliness," 12 Apr. 2020 The transition from school to home may be exciting and painless for some kids and more glaringly challenging for others, but one common denominator is novelty. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "How to Optimize Your Space (and Prepare Your Kids) for Home-Schooling," 23 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for common denominator

Time Traveler

The first known use of common denominator was in 1594

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Statistics for common denominator

Last Updated

26 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Common denominator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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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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