Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

raison d'être

play
noun rai·son d'être \ˌrā-ˌzōⁿ-ˈdetrə\

Simple Definition of raison d'être

  • : the thing that is most important to someone or something : the reason for which a person or organization exists

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of raison d'être

plural

raisons d'être

also

raisons d'etre

play \-ˌzōⁿz-\
  1. :  reason or justification for existence

Examples of raison d'être in a sentence

  1. Art is his raison d'être.



Variants of raison d'être

also

raison d'etre

Origin and Etymology of raison d'être

French


First Known Use: 1864


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up raison d'être? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to depart quickly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

accomodate acommadate acommodate accommodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ