raison d'être

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 \

Definition of raison d'être

: reason or justification for existence

Examples of raison d'être in a Sentence

Art is his raison d'être.
Recent Examples on the Web Finally, fascist states are prone to wars, because members of the secret police and generals, whose raison d'etre is violence, are overrepresented in the ruling elite. Alexander Motyl, The Conversation, 30 Mar. 2022 The disproportionate burden borne by the disadvantaged is the raison d'etre of his foundation. Annie Brown, Forbes, 22 Sep. 2021 Now the group has been joined by Noam -- a religious party that's main raison d'etre seems to be homophobia. Sam Kiley, CNN, 22 Feb. 2021 The Environmental Protection Agency's entire raison d'etre, for instance, is safeguarding the environment. Samuel Gregg, Star Tribune, 27 Jan. 2021 Best of Beauty is Allure's north star, our our raison d'etre, our Super Bowl. Allure Editors, Allure, 18 Sep. 2020 His wife, six children, their spouses, and his fifteen grandchildren were his raison d'etre. courant.com, 22 June 2019 Their latest venture is the boy band known as NCT, which seemingly has no boundaries and will result in multiple sub-groups, each with their own distinct raison d'etre. Tamar Herman, Billboard, 4 July 2018 This is yet another example of why this is an amazing time to be following the launch industry and the raison d'etre for this newsletter. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 22 June 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'raison d'être.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of raison d'être

1864, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for raison d'être


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Time Traveler for raison d'être

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

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Dictionary Entries Near raison d'être

raison d'état

raison d'être


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Statistics for raison d'être

Last Updated

10 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Raison d'être.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/raison%20d%27%C3%AAtre. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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