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rationalize

play
verb ra·tio·nal·ize \ˈrash-nə-ˌlīz, ˈra-shə-nə-ˌlīz\

Simple Definition of rationalize

  • : to think about or describe something (such as bad behavior) in a way that explains it and makes it seem proper, more attractive, etc.

  • : to find ways to make (something, such as an industry, a company, etc.) waste less time, effort, and money

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of rationalize

rationalizedrationalizing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to bring into accord with reason or cause something to seem reasonable: as a :  to substitute a natural for a supernatural explanation of <rationalize a myth> b :  to attribute (one's actions) to rational and creditable motives without analysis of true and especially unconscious motives <rationalized his dislike of his brother> ; broadly :  to create an excuse or more attractive explanation for <rationalize the problem>

  3. 2 :  to free (a mathematical expression) from irrational parts <rationalize a denominator>

  4. 3 :  to apply the principles of scientific management to (as an industry or its operations) for a desired result (as increased efficiency)

  5. intransitive verb
  6. :  to provide plausible but untrue reasons for conduct

rationalizable play \ˌrash-nə-ˈlī-zə-bəl, ˌra-shə-nə-ˈlī-\ adjective
rationalization play \ˌrash-nə-lə-ˈzā-shən, ˌra-shə-nə-lə-\ noun
rationalizer play \ˈrash-nə-ˌlī-zər, ˈra-shə-nə-ˌlī-\ noun

Examples of rationalize in a sentence

  1. She tried to rationalize her grandson's strange behavior by blaming it on the boy's father.

  2. He couldn't rationalize buying such an expensive car.

  3. She knows she shouldn't have done it—she's just trying to rationalize.

  4. Management is thinking of ways to rationalize our system of production.



1803

First Known Use of rationalize

1803


RATIONALIZE Defined for Kids

rationalize

play
verb ra·tio·nal·ize \ˈra-shə-nə-ˌlīz\

Definition of rationalize for Students

rationalizedrationalizing

  1. :  to find an excuse for something that seems reasonable or believable <He tried to rationalize his foolish purchase.>




Medical Dictionary

rationalize

verb ra·tio·nal·ize

Medical Definition of rationalize

rationalized also British rationalised; rationalizing also British rationalising

  1. transitive verb

  2. :  to bring into accord with reason or cause something to seem reasonable; especially :  to attribute (one's actions) to rational and creditable motives without analysis of true and especially unconscious motives <he tried to rationalize his cruel behavior>

  3. intransitive verb

  4. :  to provide plausible but untrue reasons for conduct

rationalizer also British rationaliser \-ər\play noun


Variants of rationalize

also British rationalise \ˈrash-nə-ˌlīz, -ən-əl-ˌīz\play


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