common denominator

noun
1.
Mathematics. a number that is a multiple of all the denominators of a set of fractions.
2.
a trait, characteristic, belief, or the like common to or shared by all members of a group: Dedication to the cause of freedom was the common denominator of the American revolutionaries.

Origin:
1585–95

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
common denominator
 
n
1.  an integer exactly divisible by each denominator of a group of fractions: 1/3, 1/4, and 1/6 have a common denominator of 12
2.  a belief, attribute, etc, held in common by members of a class or group

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
common denominator  
A quantity into which all the denominators of a set of fractions may be divided without a remainder. For example, the fractions 1/3 and 2/5 have a common denominator of 15.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

common denominator definition


A number that will allow fractions with different denominators to be converted into fractions with the same denominator, so that these fractions can be added or subtracted. The fractions can be expressed as whole numbers divided by the common denominator. Thus, 12 is a common denominator for 1/3 and 1/4, since they can be written as 4/12 and 3/12, respectively. (See lowest common denominator.)

Note: Figuratively, a common denominator is a common factor in different events: “The common denominator in these crimes is the use of inside knowledge of computer systems.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
With music as its detonator and its common denominator.
Given that these two books have nearly identical subject matter, it is
  unsurprising that their covers have a common denominator.
These people and the people that enjoy this sort of event are the lowest common
  denominator.
The research was to determine why and a possible source, or common denominator.
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