raison d'être

noun

rai·​son d'être ˌrā-ˌzōⁿ-ˈde-trə How to pronounce raison d'être (audio)
-ˈdetrᵊ
variants or less commonly raison d'etre
plural raisons d'être also raisons d'etre ˌrā-ˌzōⁿz-ˈde-trə How to pronounce raison d'être (audio)
-ˈdetrᵊ
: reason or justification for existence

Examples of raison d'être in a Sentence

Art is his raison d'être.
Recent Examples on the Web Its sense of raison d'etre as a bulwark against dark eastern hordes, its sense of missionary exceptionalism as the guardian against dangerous forces like the Nazis and the West – never went away. Melik Kaylan, Forbes, 11 Dec. 2023 Much like The Dead, P-Funk Connection performs without its primary personality and raison d'etre, funk-legend George Clinton. Joshua Medintz, The Enquirer, 14 July 2023 A lot of lore is wrapped up in the Chanel Camellia surrounding its raison d'etre as the flower Coco preferred. Roxanne Robinson, Forbes, 8 Mar. 2023 The entire raison d'etre for digital customer service is to resolve an issue, place an order or complete a transaction in a way that’s faster than an in-person experience and in a manner that’s as effortless as possible for both the consumer and company. Chetan Dube, Forbes, 27 May 2022 That was his raison d'etre. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, 23 Nov. 2020 The system-builders only have small niches across the sub-domains, with the exception of evolutionary biology where the system is the raison d'etre of the field. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 24 June 2010 Yet the whole raison d'etre of QRPs is making data 'better' for publication. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 28 May 2014 The former's raison d'etre while alive and legacy going forward is all about fear, punishment, repression and ancient cruelties. Melik Kaylan, Forbes, 17 Aug. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'raison d'être.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

French

First Known Use

1864, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of raison d'être was in 1864

Dictionary Entries Near raison d'être

Cite this Entry

“Raison d'être.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/raison%20d%27%C3%AAtre. Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

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