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Shared by a number of people; belonging to or affected by the whole of a community.

common fame is seldom to blame reputation is generally founded on fact rather than rumour. The saying is recorded in English from the mid 17th century, but a similar idea occurs in a late 16th-century source, H. Lok's Sundry Christian Passions (1597), ‘Though proverb truly say, by fame's affect, God's judgement lightly doth a truth detect.’

Common Law the part of English law that is derived from custom and judicial precedent rather than statutes, and often contrasted with statute law; the body of English law as adopted and adapted by the different States of the US.

common man a representative of the general populace or the masses. The century of the common man is the 20th century; the term derives from a speech by the American Democratic politician Henry Wallace (1888–1965), made during the Second World War.

Common Market a name for the European Economic Community or European Union, used especially in the 1960s and 1970s.

common or garden ordinary. The phrase is recorded in it literal sense (‘the Common or Garden Nightshade’) from the mid 17th century; this extended usage dates from the late 19th century.

Common Prayer the Church of England liturgy, originally set forth in the Book of Common Prayer.

common sense originally an ‘internal’ sense which was regarded as the common bond or centre of the five senses, in which the various impressions received were reduced to the unity of a common consciousness.

See also the Commons.

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