lowest common denominator


Definition of lowest common denominator

2 : something of small intellectual content designed to appeal to a lowbrow audience also : such an audience

Examples of lowest common denominator in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At its lowest common denominator, life during a pandemic is a series of risk-reward choices. David Wharton, Los Angeles Times, "No bubble means no assurances NFL and college football schedules aren’t disrupted," 6 Dec. 2020 So while anime fans might recognize a horse-girl-idol-competition (yes) anime like Uma Musume Pretty Derby as a shameless, SEO bid for otaku attention, on Netflix, the lowest common denominator may look a little less kawaii. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "There’s Something Super Weird About Netflix Anime," 12 Nov. 2020 Even the lowest common denominator of news — simply being interesting — has been tossed aside. Rich Lowry, National Review, "The Biden Protection Racket," 20 Oct. 2020 This type of attack is an appeal to the lowest common denominator in our public debate. Emma Colton, Washington Examiner, "'Harm to national dialogue': Jonathan Turley hits back at CNN legal analyst claim that Trump is a 'biological terrorist in the White House'," 15 Oct. 2020 The power of the press was being squandered in an unseemly contest for the lowest common denominator. James M. Lundberg, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Horace Greeley Turned Newspapers Legitimate and Saved the Media From Itself," 6 Mar. 2020 This is not a time for lowest common denominator, watered down reforms. CBS News, "Transcript: Senator Cory Booker discusses race on "Face the Nation," June 14, 2020," 14 June 2020 The apartment’s living room was decorated in a kind of lowest common denominator of urban style, with a black modernist couch and stainless-steel appliances. Emily Witt, The New Yorker, "Telfar Clemens’s Mass Appeal," 9 Mar. 2020 So, therefore, lowest common denominator international policies tended to come out the other end. CBS News, "Transcript: Chris Johnson talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"," 6 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lowest common denominator.' 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 lowest common denominator

1854, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lowest common denominator

Time Traveler for lowest common denominator

Time Traveler

The first known use of lowest common denominator was in 1854

See more words from the same year

Statistics for lowest common denominator

Cite this Entry

“Lowest common denominator.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lowest%20common%20denominator. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lowest common denominator

lowest common denominator


English Language Learners Definition of lowest common denominator

mathematics : the smallest number that can be divided exactly by all the numbers below the lines in a group of two or more fractions
disapproving used to say that the quality of something is poor because it is designed or intended to appeal to the largest possible number of people

lowest common denominator


Kids Definition of lowest common denominator

Comments on lowest common denominator

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


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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