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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from common sense

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

In the end, the narrator informs us that Cinderella is victorious because of her beauty and her kindness — and because of her courage, common sense, and good fortune in having a fairy godmother. Constance Grady, Vox, "The slippery genius of the Cinderella story," 5 June 2019 After February's mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, young people have demanded politicians enact common sense gun laws., "Students Across the Nation Walk Out To Demand Action On Gun Control," 14 Mar. 2018 The pocket-sized self-portrait inspires man to forgo common sense and get up close with wild animals or nuclear disaster sites. Scottie Andrew And Brian Ries, CNN, "Long before Ellen and Kim, there was Robert Cornelius. He took the world's first selfie nearly 180 years ago.," 21 June 2019 Lawrence craved the American’s freedom without surrendering his own alpha-male prerogative, recoiling from a charity of spirit that was a common sense of citizenship to Whitman. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "How to Celebrate Walt Whitman’s Two-Hundredth Birthday," 17 June 2019 Officials are also asking residents to be mindful and use common sense when attempting to swim in large bodies of water, to always make sure there is a lifeguard on duty whenever possible. Manoella Macedo, ajc, "Several drownings in same week raise water safety concerns," 9 July 2018 So, at least there was some common sense on all sides that horses need to be able exercise on a daily basis. John Cherwa,, "Racing! Latest on the Santa Anita horse fatality crisis," 10 June 2019 More than 40 years of research prove the accuracy of eyewitness identification is not based on common sense, in part because of the way people perceive traumatic events, the Innocence Project statement says. Emily Lane,, "Governor Edwards signs law allowing expert testimony on problems with eyewitness IDs," 5 June 2019 Days after the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook, the senator wrote an op-ed called for congressional action, denouncing politician’s avoidance of common sense gun laws. Teen Vogue, "Why Kristen Gillibrand Changed Her Position on Guns," 21 May 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of common sense

1726, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about common sense

Statistics for common sense

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for common sense

The first known use of common sense was in 1726

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on common sense

What made you want to look up common sense? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!