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 Congress has been unable and unwilling to make common sense rules regarding immigration for many years. Reader Commentary, Baltimore Sun, 8 July 2024 No matter how you’re registered to vote, common sense and awareness are at stake. Sun Sentinel Editorial Board, Sun Sentinel, 8 July 2024 Messi and Suarez had combined for 24 goals and 18 assists in 16 games, so common sense said there would be a drop without them. Michelle Kaufman, Miami Herald, 3 July 2024 Refuse to let your emotions supersede common sense and goodwill. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, 29 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for common sense 

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 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

common sense

: ordinary good sense and judgment

More from Merriam-Webster on common sense

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