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common denominator

Mathematics. a number that is a multiple of all the denominators of a set of fractions.
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 of common denominator
1585-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for common denominator
  • 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.
  • Fortunately science isn't ruled by the lowest common denominator, rather it is ruled by process.
  • The common denominator of these fellows is that they have confronted the potential for catastrophic technological downsides.
  • Linking them only drags the debate down to the lowest common denominator and insults the intelligence of the people.
  • The relative costs of energy is the common denominator in the costs of all things.
  • Developers are constrained by a sort of lowest common denominator when it comes to available space.
  • Hence developers only have access to the lowest common denominator set of features.
British Dictionary definitions for common denominator

common denominator

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
a belief, attribute, etc, held in common by members of a class or group
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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common denominator in Science
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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common denominator in Culture

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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