# 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

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# 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

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# common denominator

- A quantity into which all the denominators of a set of fractions may be divided without a remainder. For example, the fractions 13 and 25 have a common denominator of 15.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

# common denominator

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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.