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lowest common denominator

Definitions

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

  • n. See least common denominator.
  • n. The most basic, least sophisticated level of taste, sensibility, or opinion among a group of people.
  • n. The group having such taste, sensibility, or opinion: "The press can resist the standard of the lowest common denominator, the rationalization that all news is fit to print that has appeared anywhere else” ( Edward M. Kennedy).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The smallest positive integer which is a multiple of every denominator of several fractions.
  • n. The most simple or base shared interest or characteristic among a group or collection of people etc.

Etymologies

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Examples

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  • WORD: lowest common denominator

    EXAMPLE:

    ' For the moment, their consciousnesses were reduced to the lowest common denominator of scientists everywhere---overwhelming curiosity, blind and deaf to everything but the facts that could satisfy it .'

    --- 2009. KURT VONNEGUT. Look at the Birdie. (Previously unpublished short fiction, posthumously collected, with a foreword by Sidney Offit). ISBN 978-0-385-34371-8. "The Petrified Ants." (Page 194).

    May 10, 2014