Meaning of COMMON in English

I. adjective


a common aim (= an aim that people, countries etc share )

We know the value of working closely together to pursue our common aims.

a common ancestor (= the same ancestor )

Lions and house cats evolved from a common ancestor .

a common bond (= one that people share )

They shared a common bond – a love of literature.

a common border (= that countries share )

India and Pakistan each withdrew troops from their common border.

a common cause of sth

Alcohol is the most common cause of road accidents.

a common characteristic (= that people or things share )

Successful firms tend to have common characteristics.

a common concern (= one that many people share )

Rising food prices are a common concern.

a common condition

Depression is a very common condition.

a common culture (= one that societies or people share )

Britain and America are united by a common culture.

a common enemy (= one shared by groups of people )

We must work together against the common enemy.

a common error

a common error which students often make when writing essays

a common expression

'Pig out' is a common expression meaning 'to eat a lot'.

a common feature

Pine trees are a common feature of the Swedish landscape.

a common goal (= an aim shared by more than one person or organization )

Iran and Turkey shared common goals in their handling of the refugee crisis.

a common language (= a language that more than one person or group speaks, so that they can understand each other )

Most of the countries of South America share a common language: Spanish.

a common mistake

A common mistake is to imagine that dogs think like humans.

a common objective (= one that people, countries etc share )

Our employees have a sense of common objectives and their commitment is high.

a common origin (= a place or situation in which different things all started to exist )

It may be that all life on Earth has a common origin.

a common phenomenon

Cloudy water is a common phenomenon in new aquariums.

a common purpose (= one that people share )

We were bound together by a common purpose.

a common sense approach

We need a common sense approach to caring for the environment.

a common sense view

Ross took the common sense view that it would be better to stay at home.

a common symptom

By far the most common symptom of caffeine withdrawal is headache.

a common theme

Death and rebirth is a common theme in Eliot’s poetry.

a common/an everyday event

The death of a child was a common event in those days.

a common/familiar dilemma (= one that a lot of people have )

Deciding whether to put an elderly parent in a nursing home is a common dilemma.

a common/general/widespread assumption

There’s a common assumption that science is more difficult than other subjects.

a common/popular myth (= that many people believe )

Contrary to popular myth, most road accidents are not the result of speeding.

a common/popular/widespread belief (= that a lot of people believe )

There is a common belief that educational standards are declining.

a common/rare disorder

Acne is a very common skin disorder.

a common/widespread/frequent complaint

A common complaint of children is that parents do not listen to them.

a core/common curriculum (= the subjects that everyone must study because they are considered very important )

There has been a lot of debate on the content of the core curriculum.

a lack of common sense

Leaving the child alone in the car showed a lack of common sense.

a matter of common sense (= something that requires no more than common sense )

Not driving too fast is just a matter of common sense.

a popular/common stereotype

Current evidence indicates that older people are more healthy than popular stereotypes suggest.

an ounce of common sense (= a very small amount )

Anyone with an ounce of common sense would have realised that was a silly thing to do.

be based on common sense

The job doesn't require much training because it's based on common sense.

common cold

common courtesy

It’s a matter of common courtesy to acknowledge letters.

common currency

Words like ‘spliff’ and ‘blunt’ have become common currency.

common denominator

The common denominator of both types of novel is the vulnerable threatened heroine.

common gossip (= gossip that everyone knows about )

Rumours about her affairs had become common gossip.

common ground (= they do not share the same attitudes etc )

Often parents and teenagers find they have little common ground .

common land

common law (= laws that have come from customs and the decisions of judges )

In common law, if a house is rented out, it is expected that the house is safe to live in.

common law

common noun

common people

Rice formed the staple food of the common people .

common room

common sense dictates sth

Common sense dictates that you should avoid too much sun.

common sense dictates sth (= tells you something very clearly )

Common sense dictates that you should avoid handling wild animals.

common sense prevails (= is strong enough to make you do the sensible thing )

Eventually common sense prevailed and they reached an agreement.

common sense prevails/reason prevails (= a sensible decision is made )

He considered lying, but then common sense prevailed.

common sense suggests sth

People don't always do what common sense suggests.

common sense tells you/me etc sth

Common sense tells me that I should get more sleep.

common thread

a common thread running within his work


common childhood diseases


These plants are common in British gardens.


Here you will see most of the common species of African wildlife.

common/human/public decency (= standards of behaviour that are expected of everyone )

The film was banned on the grounds of public decency.

common/shared humanity

We must never forget our common humanity.

defy common sense (= not be sensible )

The proposed change in the law defies common sense.

frequent/rare/common occurrence

Laughter was a rare occurrence in his classroom.

Flooding in the area is a common occurrence.

have common sense

Some people are brilliant thinkers, but they have no common sense.

House of Commons

lowest common denominator

Television quiz shows often seem to target the lowest common denominator.

popular/common misconception

There is a popular misconception that too much exercise is bad for you.

show common sense

His attitude shows no common sense at all.

simple/plain/basic/sheer common sense (= very obviously sensible )

Locking your doors at night is simple common sense.

sound common sense (= sensible and reliable )

These ideas contained much sound common sense.

the common cold formal

There are hundreds of viruses that cause the common cold.

use your common sense

If something goes wrong, just use your common sense.


as common as muck

be common/standard/normal practice

It is normal practice for the definitive sale and purchase agreement to be drafted by the acquirer's solicitors.

It is normal practice for the heads to specify that each party will be responsible for the costs of its own advisers.

It is normal practice for the purchaser to order a survey for two reasons.

It is normal practice for the vendor to disclose various documents to the purchaser as part of the disclosure exercise.

Motorcycles would be kept out by barriers at each end - this is normal practice for cycle/pedestrian paths.

The first is the wide variation in specification and finish that are standard practice in the motor industry.

This is standard practice , but such an event is unlikely.

Whatever the circumstances, it is standard practice in embryo transfer to introduce several embryos at a time.

have/make common cause (with/against sb)

in common parlance

next biggest/most common etc

the Common Market

the Commons

the House of Commons

the common/general good

He was the mandatory of his people, the trustee of the general good .

Surely that is to the general good .

the lowest common denominator

They produce trashy TV programs that appeal to the lowest common denominator.


A common reason for not hiring someone is their lack of writing skills.

Dating agencies try to match people with similar personalities and common interests.

Flatheads are a common type of fish and good to eat.

Foxes are common in the area.

Foxes are very common around here.

It's a common mathematical error.

It's becoming more and more common for women to keep their family name when they marry.

It's very common for older children to feel jealous after the birth of a baby.

Jones is a very common name in Britain.

Luckily we all had a common language, English, which meant we could communicate with each other.

Malaria is particularly common near swamps where mosquitoes can breed.

Many of the more common forms of cancer can be treated successfully if detected early.

Monkeys and apes are so similar that it is reasonable to say they have a common ancestor.

My daughter says politics is boring, which is a common attitude among teenagers.

Olson is a very common last name in Minnesota.

Personal computers are nearly as common in American homes as televisions.

Petty theft and pickpocketing are becoming increasingly common in the city centre.

Students and faculty are working toward a common goal.

The Allies worked to defeat a common enemy.

The condition is most common among women aged 18 to 24.

II. noun


as common as muck

have/make common cause (with/against sb)

in common parlance

next biggest/most common etc

the Common Market

the Commons

the House of Commons

the common/general good

He was the mandatory of his people, the trustee of the general good .

Surely that is to the general good .

the lowest common denominator

They produce trashy TV programs that appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Longman DOCE5 Extras English vocabulary.      Дополнительный английский словарь Longman DOCE5.