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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
First recorded in 1585-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for common denominator
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Literacy is defended with the argument that it is some kind of common denominator.

  • The cousins, her uncle, and Penny had no common denominator of conversation.

    The Lone Ranger Rides Fran Striker
  • He proposes, instead, the term, "common denominator of value."

    Honest Money Arthur Isaac Fonda
  • The programming is shallowed to the lowest (and widest) common denominator.

    After the Rain Sam Vaknin
  • It is impossible to reduce these opposite ideas to a common denominator.

    God and my Neighbour Robert Blatchford
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 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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