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
commonsense adjective
commonsensible adjective
commonsensical adjective
commonsensically adverb
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.
Recent Examples on the Web Most of them are common sense, like: Don’t drive and watch the eclipse at the same time, don’t drive with eclipse glasses on and avoid congested roads. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, 2 Apr. 2024 Huntington Beach just voted to adopt a voter ID measure in city elections, a common sense voter confidence measure already adopted in 34 states. Michael Thielen, Orange County Register, 1 Apr. 2024 Formed in the days following the school shooting, the non-profit organized its first annual human chain – more than 10,000 people and three miles long – a year ago to advocate for common sense gun laws. Lauren Mascarenhas, CNN, 27 Mar. 2024 But the numbers shouldn't be confused as bottom-line answers that supplant common sense. USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2024 My Analysis Of Luke's Insights Luke's advice, with its blend of common sense and straightforward simplicity, provides foundational principles that can be transformative when applied to the contact center or almost any personal or professional environment. Greg Salvato, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024 Despite that range of backgrounds, there is a common sense of desperate fun underlying the different projects. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2024 The popular former governor, known for his independence and common sense, has been supporting Israel as his Democratic rivals squabble for left-wing votes. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 23 Mar. 2024 Reducing these unfair payment discrepancies is common sense. Rob Davidson, Fortune, 7 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'common sense.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1646, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of common sense was in 1646

Dictionary Entries Near common sense

Cite this Entry

“Common sense.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

common sense

: ordinary good sense and judgment

More from Merriam-Webster on common sense

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