rationalism

noun ra·tio·nal·ism \ ˈrash-nə-ˌli-zəm , ˈra-shə-nə-ˌli- \
|Updated on: 12 May 2018

Definition of rationalism

1 : reliance on reason as the basis for establishment of religious truth
2 a : a theory that reason is in itself a source of knowledge superior to and independent of sense perceptions
b : a view that reason and experience rather than the nonrational are the fundamental criteria in the solution of problems

rationalist

play \ˈrash-nə-list, ˈra-shə-nə-list\ noun

rationalist

or rationalistic play \ˌrash-nə-ˈli-tik, ˌra-shə-nə-ˈli-\ adjective

rationalistically

play \ˌrash-nə-ˈli-sti-k(ə-)lē, ˌra-shə-nə-ˈli-\ adverb

Recent Examples of rationalism from the Web

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

circa 1732

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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RATIONALISM Defined for English Language Learners

rationalism

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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