ra·​tio·​nal·​i·​ty | \ ˌra-shə-ˈna-lə-tē How to pronounce rationality (audio) \
plural rationalities

Definition of rationality

1 : the quality or state of being rational
2 : the quality or state of being agreeable to reason : reasonableness
3 : a rational opinion, belief, or practice usually used in plural

Examples of rationality in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Built into conservatism is a wariness of not only the technical but the political power granted by scientific rationality. Ari Schulman, The New Republic, "The Coronavirus and the Right’s Scientific Counterrevolution," 15 June 2020 Viruses lack the presumed rationality and intentionality of human adversaries. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "The ‘Slow Pearl Harbors’ of the Coronavirus Crisis," 23 Mar. 2020 Eventually, rationality will return and equity prices and bond yields will rebound to more justifiable levels. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Stocks rally after Wall Street's worst day in 12 years," 10 Mar. 2020 In its first two seasons, The Orville dove into gender identity, addiction, bigotry, the pros and cons of social media, superstition versus rationality, and racial tensions and genocide, to name a few. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Go behind the scenes of The Orville as series embarks on a new season," 26 Mar. 2020 There’s an old trope that when faced with disaster, human beings lose all rationality, running around panicking, looting and trampling one another. Matt Simon, Wired, "Mass Panic Is Unlikely, Even During a Pandemic," 18 Mar. 2020 This incredible pair of cat boots Apologies, but all rationality has fled in the wake of these cat boots. Madison Durham, USA TODAY, "12 great baby shower gifts you can get from Carter’s," 21 Feb. 2020 And therein lies the rub with the Bolt's commitment to EV rationality. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Has Greater Range but Little Swagger," 28 Apr. 2020 Now is the time to exercise not only more compassion but more rationality. Michael Arceneaux, Essence, "If Workers Are So Essential, Pay Them Like It," 21 Apr. 2020

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

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First Known Use of rationality

1628, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of rationality was in 1628

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Statistics for rationality

Last Updated

26 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rationality.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rationality. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for rationality


ra·​tio·​nal·​i·​ty | \ ˌrash-ə-ˈnal-ət-ē How to pronounce rationality (audio) \
plural rationalities

Medical Definition of rationality

1 : the quality or state of being rational
2 : the quality or state of being agreeable to reason

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