rationality

noun

ra·​tio·​nal·​i·​ty ˌra-shə-ˈna-lə-tē How to pronounce rationality (audio)
plural rationalities
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 The authors also effectively pick apart overly narrow definitions of rationality that make almost every leader come off as a cartoonish madman. Foreign Affairs, 24 Oct. 2023 In this way, economic models ushered in a new society that increasingly resembled neoclassical models of economic rationality. Jason Blakely, Harper's Magazine, 10 July 2023 But recent research pushes back against the depiction of the early Middle Ages as ignorant and superstitious, arguing that there is a consistency and rationality to healing practices at that time. Meg Leja, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Nov. 2023 Because the Devil remains the most potent symbol of radical evil, so too do those legions that serve him remain convenient ciphers for discussing behavior and phenomenon too aberrant, too otherworldly, to be entirely reduced to arid and cold rationality. TIME, 28 Oct. 2023 Perrette’s tactical approach flows from a macro assessment that the streaming market has gone too far too fast and that WBD, in particular, needs to return to rationality and profitability. Patrick Frater, Variety, 27 Sep. 2023 Kennan also assumed that a tyrant could at least be expected to behave rationally, whereas rationality has often been lacking in the man in the Kremlin today. Andrei Kolesnikov, Foreign Affairs, 20 Sep. 2023 It couldn’t be left in a corner, playing Diplomacy against itself, churning through an infinite number of games, assuming perfect rationality in all robot players and generating intellectual capital in the onanistic way a bitcoin miner generates currency. WIRED, 26 Sep. 2023 Roszak’s theme resonated powerfully with my own experience—the Navy showed me technocratic rationality in action every single day. Jackson Lears, Harper's Magazine, 9 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rationality.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1628, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rationality was in 1628

Dictionary Entries Near rationality

Cite this Entry

“Rationality.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rationality. Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition

rationality

noun
ra·​tio·​nal·​i·​ty ˌrash-ə-ˈnal-ət-ē How to pronounce rationality (audio)
: the quality or state of being rational

Medical Definition

rationality

noun
ra·​tio·​nal·​i·​ty ˌrash-ə-ˈnal-ət-ē How to pronounce rationality (audio)
plural rationalities
1
: the quality or state of being rational
2
: the quality or state of being agreeable to reason
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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