good sense

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Calque of Middle French bon sens, from Old French boin sens (modern French bon sens (common sense, good sense)).[1]



good sense (uncountable)

  1. (idiomatic) Common sense; sensibleness.
    Synonyms: mother wit, native wit
    Antonym: bad sense
    • 1658, Thomas Hall, “[Chap. 4.] Verse 13. The cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest bring with thee, and the Bookes, but especially, the Parchments.”, in A Practical and Polemical Commentary: Or, Exposition upon the Third and Fourth Chapters of the Latter Epistle of Saint Paul to Timothy. [], London: Printed by E. Tyler, for John Starkey, [], →OCLC, page 433:
      I have divers of their Letters by me, where in there is neither good matter, good Language, good Senſe, nor true Engliſh.
    • 1694, “On a Discourse of My Lord the Bishop of Sarum, Concerning the Divinity and Death of (the Lord) Christ”, in Considerations on the Explications of the Doctrine of the Trinity. [] In a Letter to H. H.; published in A Third Collection of Tracts, Proving the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Only True God; [], [London]: [s.n.], 1695, →OCLC, page 21:
      They uſe Equivocal or Ambiguous Words, and Metaphorical or Figurative Expreſſions, becauſe they do not ſo much ſuſpect the Underſtanding and good Senſe of their Readers, as once to think, that they can take theſe Expreſſions, in a Senſe that is contrary to known and agreed Truths.
    • 1737 September 7, A. B., “Saturday, August 27, 1737 [Julian calendar]”, in Common Sense: Or, The Englishman’s Journal. Being a Collection of Letters, Political, Humorous, and Moral; [], London: Printed, and sold by J. Purser []; [a]nd G. Hawkins, [], published 1738, →OCLC, page 211:
      He is a Man of too much good Senſe to be impoſed on by your little Artifices; and your acting a double Part by him, as you do, in one Caſe, every Day, makes you more odious to him.
    • 1768, Isaac Bickerstaff, The School for Fathers; or, Lionel & Clarissa. A Comic Opera. [] (Bell’s British Theatre. []), volume XXI, London: Printed for, and under the direction of, George Cawthorn, [], published 1797, →OCLC, act III, scene i, page 75:
      Every one has good sense enough to see other peoples' faults, and good nature enough to overlook their own.
    • 1811 August, “Art. IV.—Sketches of the Present Manners, Customs, and Scenery of Scotland, with Incidental Remarks on the Scottish Character. By Elizabeth Isabella Spence, [] 2 vols. London, Longman, 1811.”, in The Critical Review: Or, Annals of Literature (Series the Third), volume XXIII, number IV, London: Printed [by J. G. Barnard] for J. Mawman, []; [a]nd sold by J. Deighton, []; J. Parker, and J. Cooke, [], →OCLC, page 381:
      Miss [Elizabeth Isabella] Spence is amongst the number of those industrious and praiseworthy ladies, of whose good sense we are so well assured that we shall very freely make such remarks as strike us, on her present sketches, &c. without the smallest apprehension of giving offence.
    • 1908, G[ilbert] K[eith] Chesterton, “The Criminals Chase the Police”, in The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare, Bristol: J[ames] W[illiams] Arrowsmith, []; London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Company, →OCLC, page 228:
      They had come to an open space of sunlight, which seemed to express to Syme the final return of his own good sense; and in the middle of this forest clearing was a figure that might well stand for that common sense in an almost awful actuality.
    • 2018 July 25, A. A. Dowd, “Fallout may be the Most Breathlessly Intense Mission: Impossible Adventure Yet”, in The A.V. Club[1], archived from the original on 31 July 2018:
      Escalation is the film's nuclear energy source. It's there, of course, in the downright lunatic stunts performed by Cruise, again defying good sense and his own advancing years to top his previous feats of reckless self-endangerment.



  1. ^ good sense, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2014; good sense, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.