Definition of rationale
1 : an explanation of controlling principles of opinion, belief, practice, or phenomena
2 : an underlying reason : basis
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Examples of rationale in a Sentence
the rationale for starting the school day an hour later is that kids will supposedly get an extra hour of sleep
Recent Examples of rationale from the Web
So, while, yes, shampooing with CeraVe is generally safe to use, Sadick says there's no real rationale for the 'poo switch-up.
Lombardi said that trio has been helping him learn MSU’s concepts and the rationale behind them.
But another rationale is also clear: The wisdom of keeping director-choreographer Josh Rhodes in the Globe fold.
The White House is considering using this rationale to impose new restrictions, either by imposing tariffs, quotas or a combination of the two.
Cream of the Crop' The rationale for enrolling so many students outside the lottery remains a mystery.
This path—and the rationale of trying to keep at least one of the team’s two best players—is straightforward and self-explanatory.
The documents reveal the rationale behind seemingly inconsistent decisions.
The default rationale is that there are far fewer players in the NBA, but that is overly simplistic.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rationale.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
The word rationale appeared in the second half of the 17th century, just in time for the Age of Reason. It is based on the Latin ratio, which means "reason," and rationalis, which means "endowed with reason." At first, rationale meant "an explanation of controlling principles" ("a rationale of religious practices," for example), but soon it began to refer to the underlying reason for something (as in "the rationale for her behavior"). The latter meaning is now the most common use of the term. The English word ratio can also mean "underlying reason" (in fact, it had this meaning before rationale did), but in current use, that word more often refers to the relationship (in number, quantity, or degree) between things.
Origin and Etymology of rationale
Latin, neuter of rationalis
First Known Use: 1657See Words from the same year
RATIONALE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of rationale for English Language Learners
: the reason or explanation for something
RATIONALE Defined for Kids
Definition of rationale for Students
: a basic explanation or reason for something What is the rationale behind your decision?
Seen and Heard
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