common sense


Definition of common sense 

: sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts She's very smart but doesn't have a lot of common sense. rely on common sense for personal safety

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Other Words from common sense

commonsense \ˈkä-​mən-​ˈsen(t)s \ adjective
commonsensible \ˈkä-​mən-​ˈsen(t)-​sə-​bəl \ adjective
commonsensical \ˈkä-​mən-​ˈsen(t)-​si-​kəl \ adjective
commonsensically \ˈkä-​mən-​ˈsen(t)-​si-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for common sense


discreetness, discretion, gumption [chiefly dialect], horse sense, levelheadedness, nous [chiefly British], policy, prudence, sense, sensibleness, wisdom, wit


imprudence, indiscretion

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Choose the Right Synonym for common sense

sense, common sense, judgment, wisdom mean ability to reach intelligent conclusions. sense implies a reliable ability to judge and decide with soundness, prudence, and intelligence. a choice showing good sense common sense suggests an average degree of such ability without sophistication or special knowledge. common sense tells me it's wrong judgment implies sense tempered and refined by experience, training, and maturity. they relied on her judgment for guidance wisdom implies sense and judgment far above average. a leader of rare wisdom

Examples of common sense in a Sentence

You really should go to see a doctor if your leg hurts that much. It's just common sense! Obey the laws and use common sense when operating your boat. She's very smart but she doesn't have a lot of common sense.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Ensuring vehicle safety, offering transparent pricing, and collecting essential state and municipal fees is just common sense. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Illinois governor vetoes bill meant to cripple rental car competition," 29 Aug. 2018 This always seemed inevitable, a nod to common sense and the recognition of reality. David Haugh,, "Supreme Court's sports gambling decision opens doors both prosperous and perilous," 14 May 2018 Johnson, an avid runner who has competed in more than a dozen marathons, said selecting the right footwear largely comes down to common sense. Brion O’connor,, "Enter into running season gradually, with the right shoe," 6 Apr. 2018 The questions all appeal to a player's common sense in some way: For about half, the answer is, in fact, the most obvious option given. Madeline Buxton,, "These Are HQ's Most Savage Questions Yet," 19 Mar. 2018 But what happens when common sense about what is safe for a child changes dramatically within a generation? Kim Brooks, Good Housekeeping, "I Left My Son Alone In the Car for 5 Minutes — And It Caused a Two-Year Legal Nightmare," 14 Aug. 2018 But, California racing has been known to surprise you with a lack of common sense. John Cherwa,, "Racing! CHRB ready to tackle Golden Gate issue," 12 July 2018 But even as most people seemed to come down on the side of common sense, there was something mortifyingly tone deaf about the uproar that followed. Nestor Ramos,, "Yes, suspending the Saugus athletes was dumb. But there’s something tone deaf about all this," 6 June 2018 But that same type of common sense ought to apply more broadly, any time someone with a plausibly Muslim-sounding name comes into the media for any particular reason. H.a. Hellyer, Time, "The Mali 'Spider-Man' Was Offered French Citizenship. What About the Muslim Migrants Who Aren't Superheroes?," 30 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'common sense.' 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 sense

1726, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

30 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for common sense

The first known use of common sense was in 1726

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More Definitions for common sense

common sense


English Language Learners Definition of common sense

: the ability to think and behave in a reasonable way and to make good decisions

common sense


Kids Definition of common sense

: ordinary good sense and judgment

Other Words from common sense

commonsense \ˈkä-​mən-​ˈsens \ adjective a commonsense approach

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