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

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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 The film is overlong, the tension sags and characters sometimes make frustrating decisions that defy common sense to advance the plot. Barbara Vandenburgh, azcentral, "‘Queen & Slim’ is swaggering and devastating," 26 Nov. 2019 This isn’t the first time Rodriguez didn’t use common sense. Paula Rogo, Essence, "Gina Rodriguez Apologizes For Using N-Word: 'I Have Some Serious Learning' To Do," 16 Oct. 2019 Some management gurus and theorists have rushed to get ahead of the A.I. trend by counterintuitively slowing it down: flatly telling corporate boards not to abandon human intuition and common sense. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "Learning to Love the Bot: Managers Need to Understand A.I. Logic Before Using It as a Business Tool," 26 Sep. 2019 Yet San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors, who pride themselves on defying common sense, unanimously voted last week to support the cutbacks. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "San Francisco’s Trump Water Strike," 6 Nov. 2018 But in a country reeling from one mass shooting after another, where most citizens can purchase guns almost as easily as shoppers can buy cans of tuna, common sense is raising its hand. Beth Thames |, al, "Magic wands, butter knives and real threats," 11 Sep. 2019 Sometimes, however, common sense should trump theoretical goals and money-grubbing. Lauren Ritchie,, "St. Johns water district planning five years of sand-hauling for Lake Norris area residents," 2 July 2018 Lots of homers, common sense would indicate, make for a more exciting game. San Antonio Express-News, "Baseball homering and whiffing itself to death," 27 May 2018 Dear Annie: Thank you for your compassion and common sense in these turbulent times., "Dear Annie: Overworked nurses need a break, and our understanding," 16 Sep. 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.

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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

30 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Common sense.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

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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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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).


to state or do over again or repeatedly

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