common ( commoner comparative) ( commonest superlative) ( commons plural )
1 adj If something is common, it is found in large numbers or it happens often., (Antonym: uncommon, rare)
His name was Hansen, a common name in Norway..., Oil pollution is the commonest cause of death for seabirds..., It was common practice for prisoners to carve objects from animal bones to pass the time.
commonly adv ADV with v
Parsley is probably the most commonly used of all herbs.
2 adj If something is commonto two or more people or groups, it is done, possessed, or used by them all.
oft ADJ to n
Moldavians and Romanians share a common language..., Such behaviour is common to all young people.
3 adj When there are more animals or plants of a particular species than there are of related species, then the first species is called common.
...the common house fly.
4 adj Common is used to indicate that someone or something is of the ordinary kind and not special in any way.
Common salt is made up of 40% sodium and 60% chloride.
5 adj Common decency or common courtesy is the decency or courtesy which most people have. You usually talk about this when someone has not shown these characteristics in their behaviour to show your disapproval of them.
oft with brd-neg, ADJ n (disapproval)
He didn't have the common courtesy to ask permission.
6 adj You can use common to describe knowledge, an opinion, or a feeling that is shared by people in general.
It is common knowledge that swimming is one of the best forms of exercise.
commonly adv ADV -ed
A little adolescent rebellion is commonly believed to be healthy.
7 adj If you describe someone or their behaviour as common, you mean that they show a lack of taste, education, and good manners., (disapproval, Antonym: refined)
She might be a little common at times, but she was certainly not boring.
8 n-count; n-in-names A common is an area of grassy land, usually in or near a village or small town, where the public is allowed to go.
We are warning women not to go out on to the common alone., ...Wimbledon Common.
9 n-proper-coll The Commons is the same as the House of Commons. The members of the House of Commons can also be referred to as the Commons.
The Prime Minister is to make a statement in the Commons this afternoon..., The Commons has spent over three months on the bill.
lowest common denominator
11 If two or more things have something in common, they have the same characteristic or feature.
in common phrase oft PHR with n
The oboe and the clarinet have got certain features in common..., In common with most Italian lakes, access to the shores of Orta is restricted.
12 If two or more people have something in common, they share the same interests or experiences.
in common phrase usu have n PHR, oft PHR with n
He had very little in common with his sister.
common ground →
the common touch →
common cold ( common colds plural ) Thecommon cold is a mild illness. If you have it, your nose is blocked or runny and you have a sore throat or a cough. n-count usu sing, the N
If you say that an idea or belief has become common currency, you mean it is widely used and accepted. n-uncount
The story that she was trapped in a loveless marriage became common currency.
common denominator ( common denominators plural )
1 n-count In mathematics, a common denominator is a number which can be divided exactly by all the denominators in a group of fractions.
2 n-count A common denominator is a characteristic or attitude that is shared by all members of a group of people.
I think the only common denominator of success is hard work.
lowest common denominator
common land ( common lands plural ) Common land is land which everyone is allowed to use. n-uncount also N in pl
common law , common-law
1 n-uncount Common law is the system of law which is based on judges' decisions and on custom rather than on written laws.
Canadian libel law is based on English common law.
2 adj A common law relationship is regarded as a marriage because it has lasted a long time, although no official marriage contract has been signed.
...his common law wife.
common market ( common markets plural )
1 n-count A common market is an organization of countries who have agreed to trade freely with each other and make common decisions about industry and agriculture. (BUSINESS)
...the Central American Common Market.
2 n-proper The Common Market is the former name of the European Union. Some people still refer to the European Union as the Common Market.
common noun ( common nouns plural ) A common noun is a noun such as `tree', `water', or `beauty' that is not the name of one particular person or thing. Compare proper noun. n-count
common-or-garden , common or garden
You can use common-or-garden to describe something you think is ordinary and not special in any way.
(mainly BRIT) adj ADJ n
It's not just a common-or-garden phone!
in AM, use garden-variety
common room ( common rooms plural ) , common-room A common room is a room in a university or school where people can sit, talk, and relax.
(mainly BRIT) n-count
common sense , commonsense
Your common sense is your natural ability to make good judgments and to behave in a practical and sensible way. n-uncount
Use your common sense..., ...a common-sense approach.
Common stock refers to the shares in a company that are owned by people who have a right to vote at the company's meetings and to receive part of the company's profits after the holders of preferred stock have been paid.
(AM, BUSINESS) n-uncount
The company priced its offering of 2.7 million shares of common stock at 20 cents a share.
in BRIT use ordinary shares
lowest common denominator ( lowest common denominators plural )
1 n-count If you describe a plan or policy as thelowest common denominator, you are critical of it because it has been deliberately made too simple so that nobody will disagree.
usu sing (disapproval)
Although the plan received unanimous approval, this does not mean that it represents the lowest common denominator.
2 n-count If you say that something is designed to appeal to thelowest common denominator, you are critical of it because it is designed to be liked by the majority of people.
usu sing (disapproval)
Tabloid newspapers pander to the lowest common denominator.
3 n-count In mathematics, thelowest common denominator is the smallest number that all the numbers on the bottom of a particular group of fractions can be divided into. (TECHNICAL)