de·​nom·​i·​na·​tor di-ˈnä-mə-ˌnā-tər How to pronounce denominator (audio)
mathematics : the part of a fraction that is below the line and that functions as the divisor of the numerator
: a shared trait
a common denominator
: the average level (as of taste or opinion) : standard
manufacturers catering to a safely low denominator of public taste Time

Example Sentences

In the fraction 2/3 the numerator is 2 and the denominator is 3.
Recent Examples on the Web So, using counties as the denominator tends to shrink the overall percentage of counties that are large and have significant numbers of homicides. Politifact Staff Writer, Dallas News, 10 May 2023 Income is the denominator. Richard Rubin, WSJ, 10 Oct. 2021 What's the denominator? Sarah Midkiff,, 21 Apr. 2021 This becomes the new denominator. Ellen Peters, The Conversation, 27 Apr. 2021 To eliminate the peaks and valleys that can make equities appear cheap when earnings are inflated, or pricey when earnings crater but are bound to rebound, Shiller uses average profits over the past decade, adjusted for inflation, as the denominator. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 14 Mar. 2021 In the future, the late 2010s may be remembered as an era of lowest-common-denominator fashion; of mass-market athleisure, of hygge and Scandi-chic; of gentle neutrals like greige and oatmeal, optimal for long hours at the jobs where millennials diligently devoted themselves to finding meaning. Ashley Fetters Maloy, Washington Post, 27 Dec. 2022 There was something deliciously deranged about it: a provocative photo of me wearing very little, on my way to the beach — the lowest-common-denominator genre of social media content — posted in the wake of my devastating grief, and the curious combination of sympathy and thirst below. Los Angeles Times, 13 Oct. 2021 The one in the magnetic field equation is in the numerator, and there was already one in the denominator. Rhett Allain, WIRED, 14 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History


see denominate

First Known Use

circa 1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of denominator was circa 1542

Dictionary Entries Near denominator

Cite this Entry

“Denominator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​nom·​i·​na·​tor di-ˈnäm-ə-ˌnāt-ər How to pronounce denominator (audio)
: the part of a fraction that is below the line and that functions as the divisor of the numerator

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