common sense


Definition of common sense

: sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts So far, I've had the common sense not to tweet anything ghastly.— James Poniewozik The poker players learns that sometimes both science and common sense are wrong. There is such a thing as absolute premonition of cards, a rock bottom surety of what will happen next.— David Mamet With tsunamis, it may seem only common sense to Earth scientists to run away from (and not toward) the water when the sea is drawn rapidly down and away from the beach as a tsunami approaches. But that response is counterintuitive for most people.— Thomas C. Pierson

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Other Words from common sense

commonsense \ ˈkä-​mən-​ˈsen(t)s How to pronounce common sense (audio) \ adjective
commonsensible \ ˈkä-​mən-​ˈsen(t)-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce common sense (audio) \ adjective
commonsensical \ ˈkä-​mən-​ˈsen(t)-​si-​kəl How to pronounce common sense (audio) \ adjective
commonsensically \ ˈkä-​mən-​ˈsen(t)-​si-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce common sense (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for common sense



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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 The transatlantic trade in human beings, Melville seems to say, couldn’t be understood, or justified, or, in the end, rebuked by way of simple common sense. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, "What Thomas Jefferson Could Never Understand About Jesus," 28 Dec. 2020 He was removed from the lineup, but as the team celebrated on the field, Turner ignored the pleas of common sense inside the clubhouse and exuberantly joined the party, at times not wearing a mask. Bruce Jenkins,, "From Buster Posey’s opt-out to the Arizona 49ers: Only-in-2020 sports moments," 26 Dec. 2020 These requirements may seem like common sense, but there has been wide latitude in how climate assessments have been used in the past. Jim Reilly, WSJ, "USGS Gets Politics Out of Climate Forecasts," 21 Dec. 2020 Experience and a rigorous belief in common sense were his lifelong guides. Philip Terzian, Washington Examiner, "Walter Williams, 1936-2020," 3 Dec. 2020 But how is limiting a large church to 10 people, while allowing many more in a much smaller liquor store, anything except a challenge to common sense? Arkansas Online, "OPINION | EDITORIAL: Opinion makers," 28 Nov. 2020 Taking steps to reduce the spread of the coronavirus should be common sense at this point. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Trump adviser tells Michigan to “rise up” against COVID restrictions," 16 Nov. 2020 Since then, Lamont has been reluctant to impose wider restrictions, instead urging residents to use common sense to slow transmission. Stephen Singer,, "US: Connecticut’s economy expanded by nearly one-third last summer as business shutdowns eased," 23 Dec. 2020 Similarly, the prospect of liability for Covid-19 transmission is likely to encourage business owners to invest in cost-effective precautions, follow the advice of public health authorities, adopt industry safety standards and use common sense. Timothy D. Lytton, Quartz, "Why shielding businesses from coronavirus liability is a bad idea," 10 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for common sense

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The first known use of common sense was in 1726

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Statistics for common sense

Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Common sense.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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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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