Dictonary.netDictonary.net
Synonyms, antonyms, pronunciation

  Home
English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'




Common sense   /kˈɑmən sɛns/   Listen
Common sense

noun
1.
Sound practical judgment.  Synonyms: good sense, gumption, horse sense, mother wit, sense.  "He hasn't got the sense God gave little green apples" , "Fortunately she had the good sense to run away"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








Advanced search
     Find words:
Starting with
Ending with
Containing
Matching a pattern  

Synonyms
Antonyms
Quotes
Words linked to  

only single words



Share |





"Common sense" Quotes from Famous Books



... to revision every five years. With the publication of the Penal Code, the legal responsibilities of the new Emperor began and ended. There is not, and never has been, anything in China of the nature of civil law, beyond local custom and the application of common sense. ...
— China and the Manchus • Herbert A. Giles

... silence. Bob's heart leaped to his throat. What had happened? No sooner had his inner consciousness asked the question than his common sense had answered it. The pilot had shut off the engine, of course. Already the powerful plane was heading downward over the trackless path up which it had risen, and was gliding with a soft rush of air which produced a ...
— The Brighton Boys with the Flying Corps • James R. Driscoll

... raise them like Christians, or resign my situation to some one who is 'wise as serpents and harmless as doves.' It is all very fine to talk of 'proper discipline' in charitable institutions; but, miss, in the name of common sense, how can I get along unless the friends of the children sustain me? Did you punish Stanley, and send him back? On the contrary, you countenanced his bad conduct and kept him with you, and it is perfectly ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... quality whom he may henceforth single out as proper victims of future dedication. Though his dedications are enough to kill the living, his anticipated monodies, on the other hand, must add considerably to the natural dread of death in such of his patrons as may be liable to common sense ...
— The Works of Lord Byron: Letters and Journals, Volume 2. • Lord Byron

... stick to my friend and share his life. No one is so foolish as to need to be told not to send gladiators or wild beasts to one who has just given a public show, or not to send summer clothing in winter time, or winter clothing in summer. Common sense must guide our benefits; we must consider the time and the place, and the character of the receiver, which are the weights in the scale, which cause our gifts to be well or ill received. How far more acceptable a present ...
— L. Annaeus Seneca On Benefits • Seneca

... way forward, often crawling along. Both knew a good deal about traps and how they are set, and their common sense enabled them to see the most likely places for them. They kept to open ground, avoiding shrubbery and what looked like windfalls of branches. Before they came into full view of the house they had about a quarter of a mile to go. And ...
— Facing the German Foe • Colonel James Fiske

... want you here." There was something so sullen and mysterious in the coarse features of this stalwart man-something so revolting in his profession, though it was esteemed necessary to the elevation of men seeking political popularity-something so at variance with common sense in the punishment meted out to him who followed it, as to create a deep interest in his history, notwithstanding his coldness towards the inebriate. And yet you sought in vain for one congenial or redeeming trait in the character ...
— Justice in the By-Ways - A Tale of Life • F. Colburn Adams

... to this. "You're a wonder. When I found a university with my ill-gotten gains, I'll give you a job as professor of—well, of Common Sense, by jiminy!" ...
— The Rules of the Game • Stewart Edward White

... conception of the youthful psalmist and that of these sculptors of the Renaissance. One can, indeed, never think of Donatello as a religious artist. Serious, yes; but not religious, or at any rate not religious in the too common sense of the word, in the sense of appertaining to a special reverential mood distinguished from ordinary moods of dailiness. His David, as I have said, is a comely, cultured boy, who belongs to the very flower ...
— A Wanderer in Florence • E. V. Lucas

... for a year past," continued the man, "has been a humbug—an outrage on the common sense of mankind. Perhaps yours is an exception, though, to be candid, I have my doubts of it. Do I understand, sir, that you have travelled ...
— Round the Block • John Bell Bouton

... twenty-eighth edition of "De Profundis." Obviously either Messrs. Macmillan and Messrs. Methuen or the authority on dead languages must have been suffering from hallucinations. It occurred to me that a selection of Wilde's prose might at least rehabilitate the notorious reputation for common sense enjoyed by all publishers, who rarely issue shilling editions of deceased authors for mere aesthetic considerations. And I confess to a hope that this volume may reach the eye or ear of those who have not read Wilde's books, or of those, such as Mr. Sydney Grundy, ...
— Selected Prose of Oscar Wilde - with a Preface by Robert Ross • Oscar Wilde

... shall discover, what sensible medical men have always known, and what druggists as well as mere laymen can not afford to neglect, that there is no such thing as a panacea, and that all rational therapeutics is based on common sense study of the disease—finding out what is the cause and endeavoring to abate that cause. The cause may be such that surgery is indicated, or serum, or regulation of diet, or change of scene. It may obviously indicate ...
— A Librarian's Open Shelf • Arthur E. Bostwick

... get an anti-slavery clause inserted in the "Declaration of Independence." He served in the American ranks during the war, and was the friend of Washington, who recognised the value of his writings. For Paine's "Common Sense" pamphlet and his publication, "The Crisis," had enormous circulation, and were of the greatest value in keeping the spirit of independence alive in the dark years of the war. They were fiercely Republican; and though they were not entirely free from contemporary notions of government ...
— The Rise of the Democracy • Joseph Clayton

... respect for genius, Miss St. Just; I do not even acknowledge its existence when there is no strength and steadiness of character. If any one pretends to be more than a man, he must begin by proving himself a man at all. Genius? Give me common sense and common decency! Does he give Mrs. Vavasour, pray, the benefit of any of these pretty ...
— Two Years Ago, Volume II. • Charles Kingsley

... William Pike, Milton Elliot, and William Eddy proposed to go out afoot and carry him in, if the wagons would wait. Messrs. Graves and Breen, however, in language so plain and homely that it seemed heartless, declared that it was neither the voice of common sense, nor of humanity that asked the wagons to wait there in the face of danger, while three foolhardy men rushed back to look for a helpless one, whom they had been unable to succor on the previous day, and for whom they could make no provision in the future, even if they ...
— The Expedition of the Donner Party and its Tragic Fate • Eliza Poor Donner Houghton

... early part of the session, when the tricolor of France, a present from the French government to the United States, was sent by Washington to Congress, to be deposited with the archives of the nation, French influence was on the wane. The common sense of the country got the better of its passion. In the reaction the Federalists regained the popular ...
— Albert Gallatin - American Statesmen Series, Vol. XIII • John Austin Stevens

... of some consequence to see the original, not that I doubt its authenticity, but it may possibly have undergone some alterations. That which follows what is said of the great bank, is nonsense, or if it conveys any meaning, I think it is not such as a man of common sense would speak.[11] ...
— The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. VIII • Various

... is this, and not the liver, which is swallowed by the victor, who thus adds another frozen "soul" to his own. Of the three vomited by the Kewahqu', two were the hearts of enemies whom he had conquered. He could not give up his own, however. It is much more according to common sense that the woman should have given the cannibal the magic medicine which made him yield his heart than that he should voluntarily have purged himself. In the Micmac tale he merely relieves his stomach; in the Passamaquoddy version he, by ...
— The Algonquin Legends of New England • Charles Godfrey Leland

... escape from Fort Douglas, when Mr. Sutherland strode off, leaving his daughter alone with me, I remember very well that Frances abruptly began putting my pillow to rights. Instead of keeping wide awake, as I should by all the codes of romance and common sense, I—poor fool—at once swooned, with a vague, glimmering consciousness that I was dying and this, perhaps, was the first blissful glimpse into paradise. When I came to my senses, Mr. Sutherland was again standing by the bedside with a ...
— Lords of the North • A. C. Laut

... Frog, "Luck never just happens. What people call bad luck is just the result of their own foolishness or carelessness or both, and what people call good luck is just the result of their own wisdom and carefulness and common sense." ...
— Mother West Wind "How" Stories • Thornton W. Burgess

... illuminated his forehead. He generally walked with his eyes on the ground, but would every now and then straighten his back, and gaze away to the horizon, as if looking for the far-off sails of help. He was noted among his farmers for his common sense, as they called it, and among the gentry for a certain frankness of speech, which most of ...
— There & Back • George MacDonald

... another whole-length representation of the same person is totally different—and more decidedly of the character of William's time—is really quite a reproach to any antiquary who plumes himself upon the possession even of common sense. ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume 4 (of 10) • Various

... Sainfoy's heart there was amazement at herself for having listened even so long and so patiently. This was indeed a trial of her theories. But after all, common sense was stronger than sentiment. ...
— Angelot - A Story of the First Empire • Eleanor Price

... reading of books would make wise men, you ought to grow up much wiser than us old fellows. But mere reading of wise books will not make you wise men: you must use for yourselves the tools with which books are made wise; and that is—your eyes, and ears, and common sense. ...
— Madam How and Lady Why - or, First Lessons in Earth Lore for Children • Charles Kingsley

... descending. They came down very slowly this time, and very heavily. The obvious explanation was that they were bringing down one of those boxes filled with dusty papers which she had often seen in the closed rooms; yet though Mary knew perfectly that this was the common sense of the matter, a feeling of horror increased till she could scarcely refrain from crying out. If cook had not such a quick temper and such a healthy contempt for this kind of fancy, she would have rushed across to her bed; but as it was, ...
— Simon • J. Storer Clouston

... to these questions the common sense of mankind turns to the science of history, whose aim is to enable nations and humanity ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... descriptions of the over-excited imagination—a very favourite resource of modern novelists; he has his moral enigmas; and of course he has a witch (Fulvia) who tells fortunes and reads futurity, and reads it correctly, let philosophy or common sense say what it will. His Fulvia affords his readers one gratification; they find her fairly hanged at the ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 62, No. 384, October 1847 • Various

... their Prussian plans in Ireland unobserved by the British public; and, when the explosion which they have provoked occurs, they will endeavour to delude the British public as to where the responsibility lies. I write in the hope that, despite war-fever, there may be enough sanity and common sense left to restrain the militarists while there is ...
— Six days of the Irish Republic - A Narrative and Critical Account of the Latest Phase of Irish Politics • Louis Redmond-Howard

... had a small fund of natural common sense; and my surroundings were not favorable to sentimental imaginings; consequently I believe I began to throw them off at an early age, though the temperament which produced them is still a part of ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 4 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... as a distinctive breed. The author then takes up the problems of type as bearing on the selection of the dog, breeding, training and use. The book is designed for the non-professional dog fancier, who wishes common sense advice which does not involve elaborate preparation or expenditure. Chapters are included on the care of the dog in the kennel and simple ...
— Apple Growing • M. C. Burritt

... dispatch him to sea. Let the captains ship their own crews on board the ship, and do away with the system of advances. But, at any rate, do learn to treat the sailor as if he were not altogether a fool. He has sense, plenty of it, shrewd, strong, common sense, and more real gentlemanly feeling than we on shore generally suppose, a good deal of faith, and certain standing principles of sea-morality. But at the same time he has prejudices and whims utterly unaccountable to men living on shore. He will forfeit one or two hundred ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 15, January, 1859 • Various

... be attacked for] "the contempt of the man of science" [when he was dragged into debate by Mr. Andrew Lang's "Cock Lane and Common Sense", he saying in a very polite letter}: "I am content to leave Mr. Lang the Cock Lane Ghost if I may keep common sense." "After all," [he added], "when a man has been through life and made his judgments, he must have ...
— The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 3 • Leonard Huxley

... always been without a degree of justification; but the visitor who {43} takes the trouble to go on Sunday and get acquainted with the men folk, or makes occasion for them to come to her house from time to time, who proves herself, moreover, not without resource or common sense as emergencies arise, will soon overcome this prejudice and become the friend of every member of ...
— Friendly Visiting among the Poor - A Handbook for Charity Workers • Mary Ellen Richmond

... embodied forever, in words that will outlast the mountains as well as the pyramids, a literature which, take it for all in all, is the richest, most profound, most instructive, combining more spirituality with more common sense, springing from more capacious souls, conveying in better wisdom, more conformable to the truth in man, in nature, and in human life, than the literature of any nation that ever existed. That same race, side by side with ...
— The American Union Speaker • John D. Philbrick

... fabrics had been equally well known. They had the same effect upon fibers, whether the latter were combined with rubber or not, but very strong acids would affect the rubber injuriously. The line of defense in this case was that "no invention was required in selecting the strength of acid; only the common sense of the manufacturer, aided by his skill and experience, was necessary to bring about the proper results." In support of this a factory superintendent testified that varied stocks required skill and judgment in their treatment and more or less variation as ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 1178, June 25, 1898 • Various

... a fine piece of work and had been made by a hand accustomed to such labor. Upon this map the precise position of the various departments, headquarters, cannon, &c., were laid down. There could be no shadow of doubt in the mind of any man not stupefied with whiskey, and possessed of common sense, that the details of the attack had been carefully considered by those who were most interested ...
— The Great North-Western Conspiracy In All Its Startling Details • I. Windslow Ayer

... everybody at the Prom was lit. Well, I wasn't lit, and as a matter of fact most of them weren't lit. Just use a little common sense. There were three hundred and fifty couples at the Prom. Now, not half of them even had a drink. Say that half did. That makes one hundred and seventy-five fellows. If fifty of those fellows were really soused, I'll eat my hat, but we'll say that there were fifty. Fifty were quite enough to ...
— The Plastic Age • Percy Marks

... accept the turpitudes of the new government, for they did not anticipate them. So far as sentiment inspired them, it was not love of license, but compassion for the misfortunes of an innocent prince. Common sense, however, had much more to do with prompting their action, and common sense plainly informed them that they had no choice between a restored king and a military despot. They would not have had even that if the leading military ...
— Life of John Milton • Richard Garnett

... various bovine "international lawyers" wrote books about it. I read them and became more and more confused the further I went: you always do. It took me some time to recover from this word-drunk debauch and to find my own natural intelligence again, the common sense that I was born with. Then I saw that the whole thing went wrong from the place where that Knox legal note came in. Congressmen in the backwoods quoted cryptic passages from it, thought they were saying something, and proceeded to make their audiences believe that ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume II • Burton J. Hendrick

... each other) she, with the woman's unerring instinct that sometimes seems akin to inspiration, divined. She too was something of a dreamer, with an ear for the voices of Nature and a mind open to the influences of its beauty, but with a goodly ballast of strong common sense. ...
— The Dreamer - A Romantic Rendering of the Life-Story of Edgar Allan Poe • Mary Newton Stanard

... was in one of the Biglow papers that Mr. Lowell spoke to England, voicing the sentiments and feelings of the Northern people. That poem was called "Jonathan to John," and it made a great impression on two continents. It was full of the keenest irony, and though bitter, there was enough common sense in it, to make men read it, and ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 23, October, 1891 • Various

... disconcertment. If they approached her with a greeting of wit, her answer was quick and gentle, and as playful as a mountain stream. If their mood was serious, she immediately impressed them with her frankness and her common sense. She went everywhere the program provided, and enjoyed every moment of it. As she was preparing to return home her appreciation was expressed in her declaration that she "intended to come again, when she could go quietly ...
— Sergeant York And His People • Sam Cowan

... mountebank, with that vast and tough substance which is called the crowd, in saturating himself with the attraction of the multitude, and impregnating himself with the great soul of mankind, he had lost, in the common sense of the whole of mankind, the particular sense of the reigning classes. On their heights he was impossible. He had reached them wet with water from the well of Truth; the odour of the abyss was on him. He was repugnant ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... "midsummer night's dream" that often comes to girls of seventeen, woke up to find that youth and love were no match for age and common sense. Philip had been flying about the world like a thistle-down for five-and-twenty years, generous-hearted, frank, and kind, but with never an idea of the serious side of life in his handsome head. Great, therefore, were ...
— A Modern Cinderella - or The Little Old Show and Other Stories • Louisa May Alcott

... imagined. While charming and agreeable, she had evidently seen more or less of the world, and was not to be gathered in by the first man who made up his mind he would like to have her ornament his home. Likewise, she was a girl with common sense, and knowing her position and advantages did not lose her head when a man showed an inclination for her society. In fact, just before the party arrived in Flagstaff she had made it very evident that she did not care for serious attentions from any one. She was, however, ...
— Montezuma's Castle and Other Weird Tales • Charles B. Cory

... he could, at his age, have mastered so many attainments, his reply was, that with his three teachers, "every thing might be learned, common sense alone excepted, the peculiar and rarest gift of Providence. These three teachers were, Necessity, Habit, and Time. At his starting in life, Necessity had told him, that if he hoped to live he must labour; Habit had turned the labour into an indulgence; ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 12, Issue 327, August 16, 1828 • Various

... being provided for in those distant climes; and it is this bribery (for bribery it is, in whatever guise it may appear) that upholds one of the most glaring, the most oppressive of all monopolies, in the face of common sense, common justice and common decency. Other taxes are principally felt by the higher and middling classes; but this most odious, this most galling tax, is felt even in the cottage of the labourer, who cannot return to refresh himself after his day of toil with his favourite beverage without paying ...
— Newton Forster - The Merchant Service • Captain Frederick Marryat

... says shall be done. His Handbook to the library of the British Museum is a very comprehensive and instructive volume. It is a triumphant refutation of the opinions of those who, to the vast injury of literature, and serious inconvenience of men of letters, slight common sense and real utility in favour of visionary schemes ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 213, November 26, 1853 • Various

... that we have a right to take liberties with the Bible and the Prayer Book which we dare not take with any other book, and to put meanings into the words of them which, in the case of any other book, would be contrary to plain grammar and the English tongue, if not to common sense and honesty. ...
— Sermons for the Times • Charles Kingsley

... oration, Miss Patsey Hubbard seemed to be generally looking down at the floor, while Charlie was looking up at the ceiling: and there were many others present, who thought Mr. Clapp's fluency much more striking than his common sense, or his sincerity. It is always painful to hear a good cause injured by a bad defence, to see truth disgraced by unworthy weapons employed in her name. It would have been quite impossible for Mr. Clapp to prove half his bold assertions, ...
— Elinor Wyllys - Vol. I • Susan Fenimore Cooper

... beyond the river! Surely she would find the welcome there that was lacking here, and the touch of human kindness that one craved in a foreign land. But no! Robinette called to her aid her strong American common sense and the "grit" that her countrymen admire. Was she to confess herself routed in the very first onset—the very first attempt in storming the ancestral stronghold? With a characteristically quick return of hope, the Admiral's niece exclaimed, ...
— Robinetta • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... a lot of talk about the Tammany district leaders bein' illiterate men. If illiterate means havin' common sense, we plead guilty. But if they mean that the Tammany leaders ain't got no education and ain't gents they don't know what they're talkin' about. Of course, we ain't all bookworms and college professors. If we ...
— Plunkitt of Tammany Hall • George Washington Plunkitt

... connect eating and death as cause and effect. The fact is that death is surer to follow starvation. The glow at evening is generally followed by fair weather the next day; but the fair weather is not an effect of a clear sunset. Common sense must be used to determine whether the relation is one of cause and effect; something more than a ...
— English: Composition and Literature • W. F. (William Franklin) Webster

... the instrument back to Vale's position. His hands shook, though a part of his mind insisted obstinately that alarms were commonplace these days, and in common sense one had to treat them as false cries of "Wolf!" But one knew that some day the wolf might ...
— Operation Terror • William Fitzgerald Jenkins

... simply was to act A brave man's part, without the statesman's tact, And, taking counsel but of common sense, To strike at cause as well as consequence. O, never yet since Roland wound his horn At Roncesvalles has a blast been blown Far-heard, wide-echoed, startling as thine own, Heard from the van of freedom's hope forlorn! It had been safer, doubtless, for the time, To flatter treason, ...
— The World's Best Poetry, Volume 8 • Various

... a moment, arrested their departure, he stepped back to the door, where his discomfited wife stood, and entreated her to consent to their being married there. After much persuasion, common sense triumphed over uncommon stubbornness. She consented. David and his expectant bride were both on horseback, all ready to go. The woman rather sullenly came forward ...
— David Crockett: His Life and Adventures • John S. C. Abbott

... nothing but a little common sense wanted," said John. But as he drove away from the door, and saw the hawker with the needles still about, the ladies had so infected him that it was all he could do to restrain an inclination to take the vagrant by the collar and throw him down ...
— The Marriage of Elinor • Margaret Oliphant

... Mr. Cooper's return from Europe, he was repeatedly urged by his friends to put a stop to the libels of newspapers by an appeal to the law; but he declined. He perhaps supposed that the common sense of the people would sooner or later discover and right the wrong that was done to him by those who, without the slightest justification, invaded the sacredest privacies of his life for subjects of public observation. He finally decided, at the end of ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 1, April, 1851 • Various

... up and laid down as if it were a watch or a book is Christianity in name only. The true Christian can no more part from Christ in mirth than in sorrow. And, after all, what is the essence of Christianity? What is the kernel of the nut? Surely common sense and cheerfulness, with unflinching opposition to the charlatanisms and Pharisaisms of a man's own times. The essence of Christianity lies neither in dogma, nor yet in abnormally holy life, but in faith in an unseen world, in doing one's duty, in speaking the truth, in finding the true life ...
— Essays on Life, Art and Science • Samuel Butler

... friendship existing between the two crowns, or the desire of the two nations to remain at peace. He entertained the sincere hope that if attempts were made to stir up the resentments and passions of another epoch, they would break to pieces on common sense. Prince Albert responded, and expressed the most friendly sentiments on behalf of the queen. He said she was happy at having an opportunity, by her presence at Cherbourg, of joining and endeavoring to strengthen as much as possible ...
— Home Pastimes; or Tableaux Vivants • James H. Head

... declarations, rejoinders, and replications. It is, in fact, the custom of the Turks that all causes, except those which relate to marriage, shall be immediately and summarily decided, rather by the rules of common sense than of legal precedent; and among these barbarians (if such they are in this respect) the cadi is the sole judge in all cases, cuts short the pleadings, gives sentence in a breath, and there is no appeal from his decision. ...
— The Exemplary Novels of Cervantes • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... charming old people before it is too late Rather too anxious that I should be comfortable Rounded back, convex with years of stooping over his minute work Said something which another had often felt but never said Satisfaction to the curious practitioner Science without common sense Scientific specialization "Sentimentality," which is sentiment overdone She always laughs and cries in the right places Some people that think everything pitiable is so funny Takes very little to spoil everything ...
— Widger's Quotations from the Works of Oliver W. Holmes, Sr. • David Widger

... a little common sense—somewhere!" snarled old man Duff, getting stiffly to his feet. "You'll need it, to ...
— Oh, Money! Money! • Eleanor Hodgman Porter

... that they will win,' said Redworth; and he was led to discourse of rates and duties and prohibitive tariffs to a woman surprisingly athirst, curious for every scrap of intelligence relating to the power, organization, and schemes of the League. 'Common sense is the secret of every successful civil agitation,' he said. 'Rap it unremittingly on crowds of the thickest of human heads, and the response comes at last to sweep all before it. You may reckon that the country will beat the landlords—for that is our question. ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... works? Doubtless often enough when the painter was out firing off his smart cracker sayings, and making away with his port wine. And what did she think of his art? How different from William's! She could understand him always. There was always nature on his canvas, and meaning and common sense—there was always a story plainly, forcibly told. But Mr. Runciman's meanings were not so clear. What was all the smoke about, and the waving arms, and the distorted features, and the Bedlamite faces, and, oh! the long legs and the flying draperies? Surely draperies never did fly ...
— Art in England - Notes and Studies • Dutton Cook

... such inverted system, propounded by poets long ago, and perhaps consecrated by religion. It would not require a great man to say calmly: Men, birds, even ether-waves, if you will, feel after this and this fashion. The greatness and the excitement begin when he says: Your common sense, your practical intellect, your boasted science have entirely deceived you; see what the real truth is instead! So M. Bergson is bent on telling us that the immediate, as he describes it, is the ...
— Winds Of Doctrine - Studies in Contemporary Opinion • George Santayana

... for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree. When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei, as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to ...
— On the Origin of Species - 6th Edition • Charles Darwin

... all acquainted with the world in which we live would have been suspicious of such cordiality in the cousin of an heiress, towards a very unsuitable aspirant. But Cesarini, like many indifferent poets (but like few good ones), had no common sense. He thought it quite natural that a man who admired his poetry so much as Lumley had declared he did, should take a lively interest in his welfare; and he therefore replied warmly, "Oh, sir, this is indeed a crushing blow: I dreamed she loved me. She was ever flattering and gentle when she spoke ...
— Ernest Maltravers, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... p. 35.) By these similes, so different from those of Homer she wishes to inspire contempt as well as horror for the little noxious animal, a conqueror. Most unfortunately, the common sense, or common nonsense, of ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 5 • Edward Gibbon

... consider myself exceptionally brilliant or talented. But it did seem to me, and the more I noted the doings of my fellow-men and women, the more assured did I become of it, that I possessed plain, practical common sense to an unusual and remarkable degree. Conscious of this, I wrote a little book, which I entitled How to be Happy, Wealthy, and Wise, and published it at my own expense. I did not seek for profit. I merely wished ...
— Novel Notes • Jerome K. Jerome

... new lease of life to read this through! Why can't a committee of this kind occasionally exhibit a grain of common sense? If I send a man to buy a horse for me, I expect him to tell me his points, not how many hairs there are in his tail!"—(Authenticated by Mr. Hubbard, member of Congress of Connecticut, to whom the remark ...
— The Lincoln Story Book • Henry L. Williams

... make any accurate or logical distinction in such matters; but that common sense and instinct have, in all civilised nations, indicated certain crimes of great social harmfulness, such as murder, theft, adultery, slander, and such like, which it is proper to repress legally; and that common sense and instinct indicate also the kind ...
— A Joy For Ever - (And Its Price in the Market) • John Ruskin

... "Common sense, as well as piety, tells us these are proper."—Fam. Com. cor. "For without it the critic, as well as the undertaker, ignorant of any rule, has nothing left but to abandon himself to chance."—Kames cor. "And accordingly hatred, as well as love, is extinguished by long ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... be of established respectability, but the right of which to be at all is not fully admitted, stands out the form of speech is being done, or rather, is being, which, about seventy or eighty years ago, began to affront the eye, torment the ear, and assault the common sense of the speaker of plain and idiomatic English." Mr. White devotes thirty pages of his book to the discussion of the subject, and adduces evidence that is more than sufficient to convince those who are ...
— The Verbalist • Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)

... public house where I lived, I saw a fine girl from New Hampshire, with whom I became acquainted—so easily, so far as she was concerned—that I ought to have been warned to have nothing to do with her; but, as usual, in such cases, my common sense left me, and I was infatuated enough to fancy that I ...
— Seven Wives and Seven Prisons • L.A. Abbott

... Mr Inglis; "that was certainly not a very polite speech, but there was a good deal of common sense in it; and I don't think Master Phil, there, would care much about stopping out when it rained. But make haste, boys; we must not stop talking, for there are all the things to get ready, and we have a long ...
— Hollowdell Grange - Holiday Hours in a Country Home • George Manville Fenn

... the women had formerly no voice in disposing of themselves in matrimony. But as the empire of common sense began to extend itself, they began to claim a privilege, at least of being consulted in the choice of the partners of their lives. Many fathers and guardians, hurt by this female innovation, and puffed up with ...
— Sketches of the Fair Sex, in All Parts of the World • Anonymous

... assume in this country. The prudery of the school of DORAT would here be hissed. Here, people will not quarrel with the Graces; but they will no longer make any sacrifice to them at the expense of common sense. ...
— Paris As It Was and As It Is • Francis W. Blagdon

... whetted her tongue and freed her mind she usually got the best of it, for she seldom failed to have common sense on her side, while Jo carried her love of liberty and hate of conventionalities to such an unlimited extent that she naturally found herself worsted in an argument. Amy's definition of Jo's idea of independence was such a good hit that both burst out laughing, ...
— Little Women • Louisa May Alcott

... parent of another, while he pushes on his consequences, and is not deterred from embracing any conclusion, by its unusual appearance, or its contradiction to popular opinion. But a philosopher, who purposes only to represent the common sense of mankind in more beautiful and more engaging colours, if by accident he falls into error, goes no farther; but renewing his appeal to common sense, and the natural sentiments of the mind, returns into the right path, and secures ...
— An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding • David Hume et al

... me good common sense, showing the desire they have to get a knowledge of God. It is a great wrong to let so many men be lost, and see them perish at our door, without rendering them the succor which can only be given through the help of kings, princes, and ecclesiastics, who alone have the ...
— Voyages of Samuel de Champlain V3 • Samuel de Champlain

... with such playful skill. In the Epodes there is bitterness provoked, it should seem, by some personal hatred or sense of injury; but the Epistles are the most perfect of the Horatian poetry, the poetry of manners and society, the beauty of which consists in its common sense and practical wisdom. The Epistles of Horace are, with the Poem of Lucretius, the Georgics of Virgil, and, perhaps, the Satires of Juvenal, the most perfect and the most original form of Roman verse. ...
— A Smaller History of Rome • William Smith and Eugene Lawrence

... morning at the close of August 1840. Fifty years ago, the idea of a general, an ambassador, and a peer, with his marchioness and suite, embarking on board the common conveyance of the common race of mankind, would have been regarded as an absolute impossibility; but the common sense of the world has now decided otherwise. Speed and safety are wisely judged to be valuable compensations for state and seclusion; and when we see majesty itself, after making the experiment of yachts and frigates, quietly and comfortably return to its palace on board a steamer, we may be the less ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327 - Vol. 53, January, 1843 • Various

... readily to analysis. Thus e.g., crescendo poco a poco al forte ed un pochettino accelerando, is seen to mean merely—"increase gradually to forte and accelerate a very little bit." A liberal application of common sense will aid greatly in the interpretation of ...
— Music Notation and Terminology • Karl W. Gehrkens

... of standing still sensibly, she pretended to be subject to wild-eyed panics. It was all pretense, for when you DID yield to temptation and light into her with the toe of your boot, she subsided into common sense. The spirit of malevolent mischief ...
— The Mountains • Stewart Edward White

... in love with a frivolous butterfly; a handsome woman attracts a homely man and vice versa; a strong, capable woman marries a sickly, incompetent man—and supports him; a sentimental woman is attracted to a matter-of-fact man who develops her common sense by pruning her sentimentalities; an artistic temperament is drawn to a phlegmatic; a sanguine to a bilious; a mental to a vital; an active man marries a lazy wife, or vice versa; a bright man marries a stupid girl; ...
— Happiness and Marriage • Elizabeth (Jones) Towne

... and slippery places as the pavement on a frosty night after a thaw. How was conversation possible with a woman? Why, there was nothing in her, neither kindness nor pity nor intellect—not leven common sense. For a fashionable bonnet or one of Spricht's gowns she was capable of stealing, of any trick however dirty; for at bottom the only thing she cares for is dress. To know the strength of this passion a man must have gone, as Paul had, ...
— The Immortal - Or, One Of The "Forty." (L'immortel) - 1877 • Alphonse Daudet

... to dwell on specifically lay sins; and these moralists occasionally attributed to the love of expenditure on dress the impoverishment of the kingdom, forgetting in their ignorance of political economy and defiance of common sense, that this result was really due to the endless foreign wars. Yet in contrast with the pomp and ceremony of life, upon which so great an amount of money and time and thought was wasted, are noticeable shortcomings by no means uncommon in the case of ...
— Chaucer • Adolphus William Ward

... not even dictate what the test for parenthood shall be. Common sense, however, suggests that it will assume some form that will eliminate those physically or mentally diseased. He believes that, when the people are sufficiently educated to appreciate the object in view, they will devise a system that ...
— The Eugenic Marriage, Volume I. (of IV.) - A Personal Guide to the New Science of Better Living and Better Babies • W. Grant Hague, M.D.

... varieties, and so admit the basis of fact upon which the Darwinian hypothesis is built; while those, on the other hand, who recognize a diversity of human species, will hardly be able to maintain that such species were primordial and supernatural in the common sense of the word. ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. VI.,October, 1860.—No. XXXVI. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... your pardon, Father—why in all common sense," blurted out Saunders, "did you come here? You can't help, and we are taking ...
— Charred Wood • Myles Muredach

... variance with their own best interests. I confess I am not without a hope that this volume may fall into the hands of workmen, perhaps better qualified than myself to reason upon a subject which requires only plain common sense, and whose powers are sharpened by its importance to their personal happiness. In asking their attention to the preceding remarks, and to those which I shall offer respecting combinations, I can claim ...
— On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures • Charles Babbage

... and vanished in his brain; a surge of temptation, a beat of all his blood, went over him, to set spur to the mare and to go on into the unknown for ever. And then it passed away; hunger and fatigue, and that habit of middling actions which we call common sense, resumed their empire; and in that changed mood his eye lighted upon two bright windows on his left hand, between the road ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 7 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... It needs only common sense to ascertain whether the allied powers were sincere in this declaration, the object of which evidently was to alienate from the Emperor the affections of his people by holding up his Majesty before them as an obstacle to peace, ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... mare was making her tired way home he was still fighting—still trying to do something. His professional knowledge and experience told him that he could not win; that, at best, he could do no more than delay his defeat a few days, and his common sense urged him to dismiss the case from his mind. But there was something in Dr. Harry stronger than his common sense; something greater than his professional skill. And so he must go on ...
— The Calling Of Dan Matthews • Harold Bell Wright

... one, all that a man could desire in his wife, and even the exception would have stood to her credit with many men. It was this: she was not an intellectual person, although certainly she possessed more than the ordinary share of intelligence and work-a-day common sense. Now John was a decidedly intellectual man, and, what is more, he highly appreciated that rare quality in the other sex. But, after all, when one is just engaged to a sweet and lovely woman, one does not think much about her intellect. Those ...
— Jess • H. Rider Haggard

... the view of common sense. It was not the view of a saint. To Latimer, also, technical theology was indifferent—indifferent in proportion to his piety. But he hated lies—legalised or unlegalised—he could not tolerate them, and he died ...
— The Reign of Mary Tudor • James Anthony Froude

... tranquil, and hidden life, even from the point of view of common sense and of the dictates of nature, ...
— The Spirit of St. Francis de Sales • Jean Pierre Camus

... the humble grade of private secretary to an eccentric millionaire—for the admiral, with all his kindliness and common sense, was eccentric—this was a fall. Where were his newspapers? There was a dignity to foreign work, even though in Europe the pay is small. There was trouble going on here and there, petty wars and political squabbles. Yes, where were his newspapers? Had he tried New York? ...
— A Splendid Hazard • Harold MacGrath

... of the Department of the South, in accordance with the laws of the war and the dictates of common sense, I organized and caused to be drilled, armed and equipped, a regiment of enfranchised bondsmen, known as the 1st ...
— The Black Phalanx - African American soldiers in the War of Independence, the - War of 1812, and the Civil War • Joseph T. Wilson

... a woman of practical common sense, and speedily saw the folly of allowing eighty-five thousand francs to lie idle in a chest of drawers. Quenu would have willingly stowed them away again at the bottom of the salting-tub until he had gained as much more, when they could have retired from business and have gone to live at Suresnes, ...
— The Fat and the Thin • Emile Zola

... Creator and Governor of the world; if you believe that God is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him, and at the same time an avenger to execute wrath upon every soul that doeth evil, the least particle of common sense or common feeling will tell you, that nothing should be put in competition with his will. When his will is clear, it must be obeyed without hesitation. I am sure that you will assent to this. If religion is any thing, it is every thing. It is, indeed, the one thing needful, in comparison ...
— Advice to a Young Man upon First Going to Oxford - In Ten Letters, From an Uncle to His Nephew • Edward Berens

... That the impotency of sinners, with respect to believing in Christ, is not natural, but moral; for it is a plain dictate of common sense, that natural impossibility excludes all blame. But an unwilling mind is universally considered as a crime, and not as an excuse, and is the very thing wherein our wickedness consists. That the impotence of the sinner is owing to a disaffection of heart, is evident from the promises ...
— The Book of Religions • John Hayward

... thought is taken; it is the cloud gathering in the unseen world from which the waters of life descend in an impalpable dew. Granted that all, whether fusion or diffusion, whether of ideas or things, is, if we dwell upon it and take it seriously, an outrage upon our understandings which common sense alone enables us to brook; granted that it carries with it a distinctly miraculous element which should vitiate the whole process ab initio, still, if we have faith we can so work these miracles as Orpheus-like to charm denizens ...
— Luck or Cunning? • Samuel Butler

... in spite of the sound common sense which fixed the worth of art at what it would fetch, some of the Forsytes—Aunt Hester, for instance, who had always been musical—could not help regretting that Francie's music was not 'classical'; the same with ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... grapes, figs, apples, pears, peaches, and melons are "food fit for gods." We pity those whose perverted taste or digestion leads to their rejection. But some are afraid to eat fruits and berries, particularly in midsummer, just the time when nature and common sense say they should be eaten most freely. They have the fear of cholera, dysentery, and similar diseases before their eyes, and have adopted the popular but absurd idea that fruit eating predisposes to disorders of the stomach and bowels. Exactly the reverse is the fact. There are no better ...
— How To Behave: A Pocket Manual Of Republican Etiquette, And Guide To Correct Personal Habits • Samuel R Wells

... demands—filling the days with tenderness. As her sister suggests, something generally turned up that made arrangements for real rest and change difficult to arrange. On the face of things, we might judge that in this particular Kate Lee's usual common sense and good management failed her; but to one who has seen behind the scenes, into the hidden life of this remarkable woman, it would appear, rather, that in the matter of rest, as in other affairs touching ...
— The Angel Adjutant of "Twice Born Men" • Minnie L. Carpenter

... negative corroboration of this is offered by a work of high rank, the famous Speculum Regale, written in Old Norse in Norway in the middle of the thirteenth century. It contains much trustworthy information on Greenland; it tells, "with bald common sense," of such characteristic things as glaciers and northern lights, discusses the question as to whether Greenland is an island or a peninsula, tells of exports and imports, the climate, the means of subsistence, and especially the fauna, but not one word concerning any ...
— The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503 • Various

... are none of whom we should be inclined to say that, if it were possible, they would deceive the very educated. Not an Egyptian among them all can make uproar enough to collect four thousand men that are murderers—of common sense—to lead out into the wilderness. Nothing, says the motto of this work, is so difficult to destroy as the errors and false facts propagated by illustrious men whose words have authority. I deny it altogether. There are things ...
— A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume II (of II) • Augustus de Morgan

... had had a particle of good judgment or common sense, I should have taken the bills I had paid for at the bank to the solicitor who acted both for Siegfried and myself, should have authorised that gentleman to pay the twenty thousand florins Siegfried had lent me when I came into ...
— Dr. Dumany's Wife • Mr Jkai

... family." The sub-editor does not say so, but I imagine the two sisters are likewise typical young Englishwomen. They ride and shoot and cook and make their own dresses, have common sense ...
— Idle Ideas in 1905 • Jerome K. Jerome

... with frequent unction that he was a "hard" man, interpreting that phrase liberally in terms of thrift, economy and substantial common sense, and his world, through the mouth of an urchin, had flung back to him the galling words—miser and skinflint! They had fawned to his face and flouted his back, gossiping of servants and made-over gowns and kindlings. Up and down ...
— Jimsy - The Christmas Kid • Leona Dalrymple

... sir, that I'm speaking absolutely without hate. What I mean is that we must destroy Carthage—that is German military power—so completely that the very idea of revenge will appear absurd to any German with an ounce of common sense. As long as there exists at any time the barest chance of an enterprise, they will attempt it. I don't blame them in the least for it; in fact I admire them for not despairing of their country; but our duty—and yours too—is to make such an ...
— General Bramble • Andre Maurois

... is said "And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that over-lived Joshua." Now, in the name of common sense, can it be Joshua that relates what people had done after he was dead? This account must not only have been written by some historian that lived after Joshua, but that lived also after the elders that ...
— The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete - With Index to Volumes I - IV • Thomas Paine

... of man-hood, and on one awful night had heard from his father's lips that story which had cast its shadow across his life. Then for the first time had sprung up of some sort of sympathy between them, sympathy which had for its foundation a common hatred, a common sense of deep, unpardonable wrong. The oath which his father had sworn with trembling lips the son had echoed, and in dread of the vengeance of these two, the man against whom they had sworn it cut himself off from his fellows, and skulked in every out-of-the-way corner of Europe, a hunted being ...
— The New Tenant • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... anything like the grotesqueness of exaggerated characterization Grillparzer was saved by his sense of form. He had as fertile an imagination and as penetrating an intellect as Kleist, and he excelled Kleist in the reliability of his common sense. It was no play upon words, but the expression of conviction when he wrote, in 1836: "Poetry is incorporation of the spirit, spiritualization of the body, feeling of the understanding, and thought of the feeling." In its comprehensive ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VI. • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... long staves. With these last, they treated a female figure in blue to, as it seemed, sadly rough usage. And the context informed Julius, in jingling verse, how that poor Hagar, the forester's daughter, inconveniently defiant of custom and of common sense, had stoutly refused to be cast forth into the social wilderness, along with her small Ishmael and a few pounds sterling as price of her honour and content, until she had stood face to face with Sarah, the safely ...
— The History of Sir Richard Calmady - A Romance • Lucas Malet

... lover to the arts and sciences, yet there seems to be a disposition (at least, as it respects all moral and religious subjects) to chain down the human mind to its present attainments, and thereby prevent all further improvement. O how long will it be before common sense shall burst this bubble of fanaticism, and all its mists become evaporated and removed by the rays of simple and native truth? Then shall man know for himself that, under God, all his powers and faculties are as free ...
— A Series of Letters In Defence of Divine Revelation • Hosea Ballou

... from others the horrors which threatened them; and now, when she knew the history of the Divine Lord of the Christians, she told herself that she had acted at that moment in a manner well-pleasing to that sublime Teacher. Still, her strong common sense assured her that to sacrifice the dearest and fondest wish of her heart in vain would not have been ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... invest my money in the two and a half per cents?" he continued. "At the very worst I should be safe for five thousand a year. What, in the name of common sense, does a man want with more? I am always saying to myself, I'll do it; why ...
— The Second Thoughts of An Idle Fellow • Jerome K. Jerome

... thing," returned Elfreda, her eyes shining, "whether I cultivate college spirit or not, I'm going to try to cultivate common sense. Then, at least, I'll know enough to treat ...
— Grace Harlowe's First Year at Overton College • Jessie Graham Flower

... believe that a design so absurd can have been entertained by a man of common sense; yet it is certain that it was seriously undertaken by Burr. His conduct in carrying it out furnishes the best measure of his talents and a signal exhibition of his folly and his vices. His high standing, his reputation as a soldier, attracted the vulgar, and brought him into intercourse with ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 5, March, 1858 • Various

... mysterious influence over all ages and all sorts. One of these infatuated noblemen is decrepit and twaddling; the other a stern, reserved man that up to forty years of age was supposed to be the very impersonation of common sense; and the third, young, clever, and handsome, a man that might marry half the nicest women in England if he liked. And why, do you think, she won't pick and choose from such a trio? Why, forsooth, because she has set her stupid heart on a drunken stockbroker, ...
— Kate Coventry - An Autobiography • G. J. Whyte-Melville

... their virtue. The great difference between these great cotemporaries lay in their power of character. Gainsborough was as true as could be to nature, where the character was not of the very highest order. Plain, downright common sense he would hit off wonderfully, as in his portrait of Ralphe Schomberg—a picture, we are sorry to find, removed from the National Gallery. The world's every-day men were for his pencil. He did not so much excel in women. The ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 53, No. 331, May, 1843 • Various

... a man to endeavor doing himself honor among those who are out of all degree of equality or comparison with him. And yet I have seen the moral of my own behavior very frequent in England since my return; where a little contemptible varlet, without the least title to birth, person, wit, or common sense, shall presume to look with importance, and put himself upon a foot with the ...
— The Children's Hour, v 5. Stories From Seven Old Favorites • Eva March Tappan

... County, in the same region in which the speech was made. This last took the form of an armed camp, and the insurgents did not disperse till a military force was sent against them and attacked them in fortified lines, where they used both cannon and musketry. It did not seem plausible to the common sense of the people that we could properly charge with volleying musketry upon the barricades of the less intelligent dupes, whilst the leader who had incited and counselled the resistance was to be held to be acting within the limits of proper liberty of ...
— Military Reminiscences of the Civil War V1 • Jacob Dolson Cox

... nothing to be said, Paul went to the door. But there his common sense left him and he made a valedictory speech. "I know that Mr. Krill ...
— The Opal Serpent • Fergus Hume

... that action would be. Since September the province had been gathering its meagre military supplies. It was but common sense to seize them before they could be used. Soon after the new year Gage began his measures. "Genl. Orders," writes disgruntled Lieutenant Barker. "If any officers of the different Regts. are capable ...
— The Siege of Boston • Allen French

... so crazy for—but they've never said anything to me about it—can't be bought. In the next breath you urge me to buy it. Phoo! You're a thoughtless, silly woman, Martha, and let your wild ambitions run away with your common sense." ...
— Aunt Jane's Nieces in Society • Edith Van Dyne

... Embankment, at the hot top of his speed, to get the notes back—at Montague Nevitt's chambers. He had walked with fiery zeal in that wrong direction for nearly a mile, his heart burning within him all the way, and his brain in a whirl, before it began to strike him, in a flash of common sense, that Montague Nevitt wouldn't be there at all. He had driven off to the office. Guy clapped his hand to his forehead once more, in an agony of remorse. Great heavens, what folly! He had heard him tell the cabman the address ...
— What's Bred In the Bone • Grant Allen

... would probably kill; such, for instance, as 'an instrument of iron,' or a stone, or a 'weapon of wood, whereby a man may die.' If we do what is likely to have a given result, we are responsible for that result, should it come about, even though we did not consciously seek to bring it. That is plain common sense. 'I never thought the house would catch fire' is no defence from the guilt of burning it down, if we fired a revolver into a powder barrel. Further, if the fatal blow was struck in 'hatred,' or if the slayer had lain in ambush to catch his victim, he was not ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... not going to be talked out of my common sense, and me on my death-bed," said the old lady impatiently, and yet with some secret hope that Ingram would go on talking and amuse her. "I won't have you say he is anything but a stupid and ungrateful boy, who married a wife far too good for him. He is worse than that—he is much ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 12, No. 32, November, 1873 • Various



Words linked to "Common sense" :   judgment, judgement, sagacity, road sense, nous, discernment, logic, sense, commonsensical, good sense, sagaciousness



Copyright © 2020 Dictonary.net