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 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



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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 At the moment, reasoning pertaining to the topic comes more from common sense than evidence. Carter Karels, The Indianapolis Star, "Analyzing Notre Dame's top recruiting storylines," 10 Sep. 2020 Travelers have to tiptoe around the topic, emphasize every safety measure taken or keep the trip secret for fear of critics questioning their common sense, priorities, and morals or character. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "Vacation police: Travelers posting trip photos or asking for tips risk social media wrath during pandemic," 24 Aug. 2020 Summer was stolen by common sense and community spirit. Raven Smith, Vogue, "Summertime Sadness: Coming to Terms with a Lost Season," 27 Aug. 2020 There is also still much to be said for a human pilot’s ability to understand context and apply common sense when faced with a new challenge. Will Knight, Wired, "A Dogfight Renews Concerns About AI's Lethal Potential," 25 Aug. 2020 So far, Berreby reports, robots can’t equal the human mind’s ability to do a lot of different tasks, especially unexpected ones, and robots haven’t yet mastered common sense—all skills required to be a magazine editor. Susan Goldberg, National Geographic, "Why we explored humanity’s complicated relationship with robots," 18 Aug. 2020 Every stop is a work in progress, a different adjustment to following the Major League Baseball health and safety protocols — and using common sense. John Shea,, "Giants, other West teams play uninterrupted amid frequent postponements in East, Central," 8 Aug. 2020 The teenage characters, on the other hand, display common sense throughout the movie. Popular Science, "Japanese anime remembers the atom bomb, decades after Hiroshima," 5 Aug. 2020 The latest attempt to defy common sense is a study by Yale economists that purportedly finds the $600 federal enhancement to jobless benefits hasn’t affected the incentive to work. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Economists vs. Common Sense," 2 Aug. 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

14 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Common sense.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2020.

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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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