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common sense

sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence.
Origin of common sense
1525-35; translation of Latin sēnsus commūnis, itself translation of Greek koinḕ aísthēsis
Related forms
common-sense, commonsense, adjective
commonsensical, commonsensible, adjective
commonsensically, commonsensibly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for common-sense
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • common-sense” told him he had nothing to fear: if he were not a Christian, who was?

    The Browning Cyclopdia Edward Berdoe
  • This, of course, was what he should have done; it was obviously the only common-sense thing to do.

  • It is at war with reason and common-sense, and is a bold denial of the oneness of the human race.

  • I think it would benefit all of us if you drilled some of that common-sense into your father.

    The Free Range Francis William Sullivan
  • We leave facts to speak for themselves, and common-sense to judge whether men were safer then than they are now.

    The Iron Horse R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for common-sense

common sense

plain ordinary good judgment; sound practical sense
inspired by or displaying sound practical sense
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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Word Origin and History for common-sense

common sense


14c., originally the power of uniting mentally the impressions conveyed by the five physical senses, thus "ordinary understanding, without which one is foolish or insane" (Latin sensus communis, Greek koine aisthesis); meaning "good sense" is from 1726. Also, as an adjective, commonsense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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common-sense in Culture

Common Sense definition

(1776) A pamphlet written by Thomas Paine that called for the United States to declare independence from Britain immediately. Written in a brisk and pungent style, Common Sense had a tremendous impact and helped to persuade many Americans that they could successfully wage a war for their independence.

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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