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
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.
In the resolution, district officials listed the rationale for the denial of EMSA.
Maybe Justin O’Shea’s new brand summed up the rationale for going to the far Pacific best in the title of his debut SSS World Corp collection, Aloha From Hell.
The trustees offered no rationale for their June 6 decision to uphold the disciplinary actions against Tillett, Lazarus said.
Later, this racist rationale justified the assumption that Black people were physically stronger than other races because of genetic differences.
That order, the subject of the 4th Circuit ruling, removed Iraq from the list, deleted references to religion and added national security rationales for the policy.
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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