How would you express the notion: ‘overall many would share that opinion’, more succinctly? For example:

  • It is generally agreed upon that "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day".
  • Breakfast is the most important meal of the day is something which many agree (including myself) with


  1. Many would agree (myself included) with X's assertion
  2. X's opinion is generally agreed upon
  3. The decision to X is agreed and shared by most

I ask because recently I had to stop myself from saying:

"I didn't take that action, although condivisible".

I stopped short in my tracks and realized I was anglicizing the Italian expression condivisibile which means shareable or any of the expressions which I placed in bold type. If I had to rephrase that last sentence to reflect accurately the meaning of condivisibile I would have to say:

  1. I didn't personally take that action, although it is one which I [and many] would agree with.

Agreeable would have been perfect but it doesn't fit because its primary meaning is enjoyable and pleasurable; pleasant. It is especially inappropriate if the action or decision taken by another is a form of punishment. For example, someone being fined heavily for parking on a pavement/sidewalk despite there being no more parking spaces available (In principle, everyone agrees that parking on sidewalks should be illegal.)

Perhaps the best example is this last one:

He got fined heavily for parking on the sidewalk, although ___________ [I agree/we are all in agreement with the decision to fine him], perhaps the council ought to think about providing more parking spaces.

So, is there a single-word, an adjective or shorter phrase to express this concept?

  • Consensual? Accepted? Received (as in Received Pronunciation)? – Cerberus May 30 '14 at 6:52
  • @Cerberus He got fined for parking on the sidewalk, although consensual/accepted/received... Nah :-) – Mari-Lou A May 30 '14 at 6:57
  • You cannot make any sentence in English ending with although [adjective] unless preceded by [noun modified by following adjective], so what you're saying is no valid test. – Cerberus May 30 '14 at 15:38
  • @Cerberus I added the ellipses ... to suggest that the sentence continued, but they still don't fit, acceptable is a possible solution. – Mari-Lou A May 31 '14 at 18:21
  • Colloquially I've heard hyperbole here: "He got fined for parking on the sidewalk, even though everybody does it." It's a hefty exaggeration so it's not good in formal speaking. I've been thinking of customary (2. of or established by custom rather than law.) as a replacement, but it seems to fit only the parking (and maybe breakfast, if we add "It is customary to think...") examples. – user39720 May 31 '14 at 19:01

I suggest something like:

There is a general consensus that X.

A consensus exists that X.

Many believe that X.

Most people accept that X.

There is a widespread belief that X.

It is widely agreed that X.

  • Those are very good expressions, but they don't quite express the meaning I wanted to convey. I don't want to distance myself, I am saying that opinion or decision is an agreeable one. I.e. an opinion/decision which many would share or uphold. – Mari-Lou A May 30 '14 at 7:53
  • @Mari-LouA - So would I be right in guessing that (using your example as a starting point) you're after something that means approximately the following: He was fined heavily for parking on the sidewalk -- and justifiably so, in many people's opinion. However, perhaps the council ought nevertheless to think about providing more parking spaces. – Erik Kowal May 30 '14 at 8:06
  • In a nutshell, yes. :) – Mari-Lou A May 30 '14 at 10:50
  • Consensus does mean that many (actually that most) share the opinion. That's what makes it a consensus. – WhatRoughBeast May 31 '14 at 19:33

I have seen this phrased often as conventional wisdom: the generally accepted belief, opinion, judgment, or prediction about a particular matter.

A single word is advisable or (two words) commonplace knowledge depending on where it's used in the sentence.

-I didn't personally take that action, although it is advisable. -It's commonplace knowledge that X is Y.

Synonyms include prudence dictates, popular belief, prevailing belief, prevailing sentiment and truism.

  • According to conventional wisdom, an incumbent nearly always wins more votes than a new candidate.
  • Conventional wisdom suggests that the break between Liberals and Liberal Nationals was never healed, with the latter drifting inexorably towards absorption in the Conservative Party.
  • Conventional wisdom states that most of the molecular gas mass in a galaxy is apportioned to a few large clouds.

This term was invented by John Kenneth Galbraith, who used it in The Affluent Society (1958) to describe economic ideas that are familiar, predictable, and therefore accepted by the general public.

It is often used with but as well as an affirmation that it is widely held.

I don't know how to dramatically shorten your last (edited) example.

  • +1 for "conventional wisdom", but it's not quite what I was looking for. – Mari-Lou A May 30 '14 at 7:57

Unanimous, consensus.

  • There is general consensus that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
  • There was unanimous consensus at the UN today that Iran and North Korea should refrain from nuclear armaments.
  • It was a unanimous decision among the owners to take the company into the public realm.

u·nan·i·mous (yo͝o-năn′ə-məs)

  1. Sharing the same opinions or views; being in complete harmony or accord.
  2. Based on or characterized by complete assent or agreement.

[From Latin ūnanimus : ūnus, one; see oi-no- in Indo-European roots + animus, mind; see anə- in Indo-European roots.]

u·nan′i·mous·ly adv.
u·nan′i·mous·ness n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

consensus (kənˈsɛnsəs)
1. general or widespread agreement (esp in the phrase consensus of opinion)
[C19: from Latin, from consentīre to feel together, agree; see consent]

Usage: Since consensus refers to a collective opinion, the words of opinion in the phrase consensus of opinion are redundant and should therefore be avoided

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003


A possible candidate, which incidentally has a widely-used cousin in Italian, is accordable:

  1. (obsolete) Agreeing - Geoffrey Chaucer

  2. Reconcilable; in accordance

The word appears to be somewhat non-standard: I could only find it listed in a handful of online dictionaries, and it wasn't to be found in any of the freely accessible offerings of any of the heavy-hitters (Oxford, Cambridge, Merriam Webster and The American Heritage Dictionary). Amongst those that did list accordable, there seemed to be some disagreement over whether it should be considered archaic or actually obsolete (I think that only if some helpful passer-by had access to the OED could we be satisfied as to accordable's 'official' status). At any rate, though the word is used in the present day, it is certainly not widespread.

Having said that, the root verb accord is a commonly-used and well-understood word in standard English, and similarly oft-used is the suffix -able, a likewise standard feature of every-day English. One a functional level, it seems quite plausible that accordable could be considered a real word.

Given all of that, though depending on the your own personal style/register and the context in which you're planning to use the word, I don't see any reason as to why you couldn't use accordable. Though archaic-sounding and non-standard, the use of a well-understood root-verb as an adjective, by the standard means of the suffix -able, should nonetheless be readily understandable. It may even be mistaken for an on-the-spot and witty contrivance, a neologism of sorts (or an archaeologism?!), and would not, in my opinion, sound incongruous when uttered by an eloquent person. In fact, I had never heard of accordable before writing this, and whilst looking at the definition of the related, but not-quite-apt accordant, I arrived at accordable through intuition.

I should have carried out the usage-experiment before writing all of that, but here goes:

It is generally accordable that "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day."

X's opinion is most accordable [most added to underscore the archaic tenor :)]

The decision to X is accordable to most

I didn't take that action, although accordable.

He got fined heavily for parking on the sidewalk, although accordable, perhaps the council ought to think about providing more parking spaces.

To my ear at least, it works! In bitter defiance of my computer's incessantly haughty corrections, I have now added accordable to its built-in dictionary, and will henceforth make a point of using it at every possible opportunity. I urge that you too stand against the proscription of our fair English language, and join me in this single-word renaissance, so accordable as it is!

  • Well, it sounds very agreeable to me, and it's very very close. My Italian friends would get it immediately, not so sure about the Brits though. – Mari-Lou A May 30 '14 at 17:33
  • I wish "accordable" wasn't so rare, but I think I'll use it in the future. Lets see if it catches on. – Mari-Lou A May 31 '14 at 19:16

Paraphrase will cut down on many words:

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Other examples:

X's assertion is widely accepted; X's belief/opinion is common/widely shared/widely held

There is a consensus to X / The consensus is to X

I didn't personally take that action, although I supported it

Not quite one word unfortunately.

You could also try sentence-modifying adverbs that tacitly indicate your point of view:

He got fined heavily for parking on the sidewalk, appropriately so, but perhaps the council ought to think about providing more parking spaces.

He got fined heavily for parking on the sidewalk, with reason, but perhaps the council ought to think about providing more parking spaces.

He got fined heavily for parking on the sidewalk—rightfully—but perhaps the council ought to think about providing more parking spaces.


I think that the expression common thought/opinion is what come close to 'condivisibile':

  • It is a common thought that Government should help the poor.

Consider either of the following.
commonsensical, “Displaying common sense” (where common sense refers to “Ordinary sensible understanding; one's basic intelligence which allows for plain understanding and without which good decisions or judgments cannot be made” and has less-well-known synonyms like mother wit, native wit, and cop on)
sensible, “Acting with or showing good sense; able to make good judgements based on reason” and in common usage, “Sensible" describes the reasonable way in which a person may think about things or do things”.

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