lowest common denominator


: 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 And so, with the new NBA season finally upon us, here is a preview of the lowest common denominator beefs that will be sure to dominate coverage this year. Corbin Smith, Rolling Stone, 24 Oct. 2023 Graham’s portrait of that time — illuminated vividly by director Jason Loewith and 13 splendid actors — pinpoints a moment when rough-and-ready newspaper journalism ceased to be gleeful, turning instead into a grim search for the lowest common denominator. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 6 Sep. 2023 Unlike climate change mitigation, where success will be determined by the sum of all individual efforts, AI safety is determined by the lowest common denominator: a single breakout algorithm could cause untold damage. Ian Bremmer and Mustafa Suleyman, Foreign Affairs, 16 Aug. 2023 One that aims squarely at the lowest common denominator? Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 3 Aug. 2023 That’s the catch of going viral: The lowest common denominator will always prevail at the expense of innovation and individuality. Umi Syam, New York Times, 7 Aug. 2023 In business, a company's reputation can often come down to the lowest common denominator, the actions of one specific individual, especially in small companies. George Deeb, Forbes, 5 Jan. 2022 Yet both are so smart and complex in their own ways, refusing to talk down to its audience and pander to the lowest common denominator. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 22 July 2023 But for that, the industry needs to change from chasing the lowest common denominator, fake scale, and cheap CPMs. Isaac Mizrahi, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lowest common 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

First Known Use

1854, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lowest common denominator was in 1854

Dictionary Entries Near 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 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

lowest common denominator

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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