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

So, to me, that points out that there's a common denominator here. Fox News, "Outrage follows Trump-Putin summit," 18 July 2018 The common denominator is a Type-A overachiever, either between jobs or having recently sold off their company—or just at a meltdown point of complete work and personal life imbalance. Marisa Meltzer, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Latest Travel Trend? Super Sabbaticals," 24 Dec. 2018 So many of the controversies born on the platform, from anti-Semitic stunts to unfulfilled event fiascos, seem to have a common denominator: lack of experience and oversight. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Meet the babysitter who helps Logan Paul stay out of trouble on YouTube," 3 Dec. 2018 But across the globe, economists and business executives warned about a common denominator that is hurting growth: trade battles among the U.S., China and others. Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, "Global Economy Shows Strain as U.S. Steams Ahead," 14 Nov. 2018 Incompetence is often the common denominator in every clubs relegation., "Why Aston Villa's Financial Situation Should Be a Warning for Other Promotion Chasing Clubs," 9 July 2018 The lack of in-patient treatment beds for people with mental illness is seen as a common denominator among several national problems: homelessness, police shootings, and acts of mass violence by people with serious mental problems. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, The Seattle Times, "More leeway for states to expand inpatient mental health," 13 Nov. 2018 That’s the common denominator, (is) the consistency at the line of scrimmage. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "The Final Word: Bob Condotta breaks down what went wrong in the Seahawks’ close loss to the Rams," 13 Nov. 2018 The common denominator in that ~crazy~ sitch is bae. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "21 Red Flags To Watch Out For In Your Relationship," 22 Aug. 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

17 Mar 2019

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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

What made you want to look up common denominator? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to boil down or concentrate

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