Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Sound judgment not based on specialized knowledge; native good judgment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An internal sense, formerly believed to be the sense by which information from the other five senses is understood and interpreted.
  • n. Ordinary sensible understanding; one's basic intelligence which allows for plain understanding and without which good decisions or judgments cannot be made.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Sound judgment. See under Sense.
  • See Common sense, under sense.
  • n. When the substantive is emphasized: “Native practical intelligence, natural prudence, mother wit, tact in behavior, acuteness in the observation of character, in contrast to habits of acquired learning or of speculation.”

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Characterized by common or good sense: as, he took a common-sense view of the question. See common sense, under common, a.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. sound practical judgment
  • adj. exhibiting native good judgment

Etymologies

Translation of Latin sēnsus commūnis, common feelings of humanity.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
After Latin sensus communis, Ancient Greek κοινὴ αἴσθησις. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • GRUNERT: Then it appears that the organization seemed to be faulty, and its instruction faulty, and there seemed to be a lack of organization and common sense and reason on this.

    DAY OF DECEIT

  • The blame is not all on the oil companies ..... they carry the brunt of it out of greed and total disregard for the environment they work in over cutting corners and profit-minded idiots who overlook common sense approaches to anticipate things like this happening and just overlooking it to save money.

    Propeller Most Popular Stories

  • This was not as well understood back when the butter-or-margarine debate was at its height, and many of us made the switch without much evidence except for the common sense that less saturated fat meant healthier food.

    The Flex Diet

  • The Story of Stuff is a brilliantly argued triumph of common sense and optimism.

    THE STORY OF STUFF

  • Like so many of the early nineteenth-century reformers on whom we look back as the Utopian Socialists, Robert Owen, the “benevolent Mr. Owen of New Lanark,” was a strange mixture of practicality and naïveté, achievement and fiasco, common sense and lunacy.

    The Worldly Philosophers

  • When it comes to diet and nutrition, a lot of what actually works is good old common sense and what weve been told all alongeat more fruits and vegetables; stay away from processed foods and starchy, bad carbs; eat smaller meals throughout the day.

    Rinnavation

  • The EAPeasers were spinning merrily to the contrary—after all, it was only the president who had declared it “kaput”—and it was left to the common sense of the American people to decide what the facts were.

    Surrender is not an Option

  • Soccer moms are smart, not just brainy in that librarian-about-to-take-her-hair-down way, but charged with a brand of common sense that conveys sufficiency of a superior, and way-sexy, grade.

    Life As We Know It

  • Husserl's motto was “Back to the things themselves,” by which he meant back to our actual experience without the layer of common sense and scientific pre - suppositions which hide the “experienced phenom - ena” from us.

    EXISTENTIALISM

  • He was forty-six, a short stocky Lowland Scot from Jedburgh (hence his name), whose plain common sense had appealed to my uncle after the turmoil stirred up by an arrogant predecessor.

    To The Hilt

Comments

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  • "Common sense isn't." -- Carol Schaffer

    September 25, 2008

  • Sometimes not that common :-(

    September 1, 2008