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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for commonsense
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was three in the afternoon when Philip left the realms of commonsense.

  • But I want to warn you again, Jonathan, that you must use your own commonsense.

  • “And we will ask them why they never use their commonsense,” chirped Veronica.

    They and I Jerome K. Jerome
  • On the other hand, it can be made a short and commonsense cut to the truth in many cases.

    Simon J. Storer Clouston
  • The problem is not one of religion, but of commonsense in economics.

  • They balanced so perfectly that I had recourse to commonsense, which told me to abstain.


    John Galsworthy
  • Yet commonsense can never be sufficient to find the right motor will impulses.

British Dictionary definitions for commonsense

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 commonsense

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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commonsense 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 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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