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lowest common denominator

noun, Mathematics.
Origin of lowest common denominator
First recorded in 1935-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for lowest common denominator
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Life was reduced to the lowest common denominator, the natural companionship of man, woman, and nature.

    The Dual Alliance Marjorie Benton Cooke
  • In a fortuitous assembly of such people the lowest common denominator of morality is easily adopted as the standard.

    The Law and the Poor Edward Abbott Parry
  • That is a result of a mathematical mind; perhaps she can reduce even names to their lowest common denominator.'

    A City Schoolgirl May Baldwin
British Dictionary definitions for lowest common denominator

lowest common denominator

the smallest integer or polynomial that is exactly divisible by each denominator of a set of fractions Abbreviation LCD, lcd Also called least common denominator
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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lowest common denominator in Science
lowest common denominator
The least common multiple of the denominators of a set of fractions. For example, the lowest common denominator of 1/3 and 3/4 is 12.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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lowest common denominator in Culture

lowest common denominator definition

The smallest number that can be divided evenly into two other numbers (see common denominator). When fractions with different denominators are added together, their denominators have to be made the same; thus, fractions with denominators of nine and twelve have thirty-six as a lowest common denominator. Seventy-two and 108 are also common denominators for fractions with denominators of nine and twelve, but thirty-six is the lowest.

Note: The term lowest common denominator is often used to indicate a lowering of quality resulting from a desire to find common ground for many people: “This fall's TV programming finds the lowest common denominator of taste.”
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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