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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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 If someone like you calls months after cancellation and tries to book a rental, common sense should prevail. Star Tribune, "Travel Troubleshooter: Airbnb locked my account when I had COVID-19 – but they still won't unlock it," 22 Jan. 2021 The population of rural America declines, and so does the number of wise voices that once spoke common sense to readers. Rex Nelson, Arkansas Online, "Salty old editor," 13 Feb. 2021 Either have some common sense and wear a damn mask or pay a fine. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "House Democrats propose $1K fines for maskless lawmakers," 12 Jan. 2021 Many, many people fail to use any common sense or good judgment when posting their ideas, thoughts, beliefs or opinions on Twitter. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: The filibuster, impeachment trial, state aid for rebuilding after riots, Twitter," 28 Jan. 2021 But common sense only rarely intrudes on political wrangling. Dan Walters,, "California needs a big data system for public education," 18 Jan. 2021 Quantum mechanics, the theory that describes the physics of the universe at very small scales, is notorious for defying common sense. Eleni Petrakou, Scientific American, "New Views of Quantum Jumps Challenge Core Tenets of Physics," 29 Dec. 2020 Creating an unwarranted sense of drama and urgency around climate change is central to his approach, in order to catalyze action unsupported by the facts or common sense. Rich Lowry, National Review, "No, Joe, We’re Not in a ‘Climate Crisis’," 22 Dec. 2020 In his petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, Hill had argued that upholding the lower court’s decision would violate common sense and throw into jeopardy parental rights based on biology. NBC News, "In 'victory' for LGBTQ families, Supreme Court denies Indiana birth certificate case," 14 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 Time Traveler

The first known use of common sense was in 1726

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Statistics for common sense

Last Updated

7 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Common sense.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 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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