Definition of rationalism
1 : reliance on reason as the basis for establishment of religious truth
2a : a theory that reason is in itself a source of knowledge superior to and independent of sense perceptionsb : a view that reason and experience rather than the nonrational are the fundamental criteria in the solution of problems
3 : functionalism 2
rationalistplay \-nə-list\ noun
rationalisticplay \ˌrash-nə-ˈlis-tik, ˌra-shə-nə-ˈlis-\ adjective
rationalisticallyplay \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
Recent Examples of rationalism from the Web
By then, the rationalism of the Mu‘tazila school had been superseded by more dogmatic interpretations of Islam.
There are lots of romantic anti-rationalisms to play with; Rousseau’s was largely soft and sentimental in tone, rather than apocalyptic and violent.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rationalism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of rationalism
RATIONALISM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of rationalism for English Language Learners
philosophy : the belief that reason and experience and not emotions or religious beliefs should be the basis for your actions, opinions, etc.
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