Definition of rational
1a : having reason or understandingb : relating to, based on, or agreeable to reason : reasonable a rational explanation rational behavior
2 : involving only multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction and only a finite number of times
3 : relating to, consisting of, or being one or more rational numbers a rational root of an equation
Examples of rational in a Sentence
human beings are rational creatures
insisted there was a rational explanation for the strange creaking noises and that there were no such things as ghosts
Recent Examples of rational from the Web
What China really requires is the state’s withdrawal from the economy, to allow the market to allocate finance in more rational ways that would improve sagging productivity gains.
Rational adult women with respectable careers and good friends and well-stocked refrigerators do this, too.
Anna Rose, who issued statements explaining the detention but not the rational for it.
This is magic, shamanism, over which language and rational laws do not rule.
But conflict dynamics are never wholly rational; far from it.
But perhaps the better response is to take irrationality for granted, and start to act … rational?
Evelyn L. Jaffe lived her life with an irrational fear of running out of money, balanced with the rational sensibilities of an accountant with an eye for risk-taking.
The rational comes from having a young and mostly unproven starting rotation.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rational'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of rational
Middle English racional, from Anglo-French racionel, from Latin rationalis, from ration-, ratio
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Definition of rational
: something rational; specifically : rational number
First Known Use of rational
RATIONAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of rational for English Language Learners
: based on facts or reason and not on emotions or feelings
: having the ability to reason or think about things clearly
RATIONAL Defined for Kids
Definition of rational for Students
1 : having the ability to reason Humans are rational creatures.
2 : based on or showing reason rational thinking a rational decision
Medical Definition of rational
1a: having reason or understandingb: relating to, based on, or agreeable to reason a rational explanation rational behavior
2: using medical treatments based on reason or general principles—used especially of an ancient school of physicians; compare empirical 1a
Legal Definition of rational
1 : having reason or understanding
2 : relating to, based on, or guided by reason, principle, fairness, logic, a legitimate state interest, or a consideration of fact age distinctions are not subject to strict scrutiny, but they must have a rational relationship to a legitimate state interest — In re J. M., 642 A.2d 1062 (1994)
rationality\ˌra-shə-ˈna-lə-tē\ play noun
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