rational

adjective
ra·​tio·​nal | \ ˈrash-nəl How to pronounce rational (audio) , ˈra-shə-nᵊl \

Definition of rational

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : having reason or understanding
b : 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

rational

noun

Definition of rational (Entry 2 of 2)

: something rational specifically : rational number

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Other Words from rational

Adjective

rationally adverb
rationalness noun

Examples of rational in a Sentence

Adjective 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 on the Web: Adjective Erivo brings substantial humanity and complexity to Holly, but in positioning her as the imaginative Mulder to Anderson’s rational Scully, the show relies excessively on a single character to argue that monsters might actually exist. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Supernatural Gets Serious in The Outsider," 12 Jan. 2020 The rational and logical part of the brain, what Kahneman calls System 2, has given humans an advantage over other species. Karthik Kannan, The Conversation, "How can we make sure that algorithms are fair?," 16 Dec. 2019 His healthy lifestyle is both rational and deeply personal, driven by a family history of male heart attacks at a young age and a desire to see his children grow up. Jack Butler, National Review, "Destroying Your Lungs to Own the Libs," 7 Nov. 2019 And Jamal continues to be an empathetic and rational voice despite being on the wrong side of the numbers week after week. Dalton Ross, EW.com, "Survivor host Jeff Probst weighs in on Jamal and Jack's racial incident," 31 Oct. 2019 Any rational person would flash on their cholesterol levels before taking a bite. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, "How to eat like a local on Beacon Hill," 13 Aug. 2019 But don’t bet on it; the Left wants divisiveness and is far too angry to pursue a rational approach. Bobby Jindal, National Review, "Embracing Chaos in the Trump Era," 11 Dec. 2019 The issue is that our ability to work in a cooperative manner in 2008 was based on the existence of a coherent, unified, rational approach from the President and his chief economic officials. Barney Frank, Time, "We Need Bipartisanship to Fix the Economy. That Seems Impossible Right Now," 22 Aug. 2019 The usual order of things is usually fear, followed by denial, followed by revenge, and then followed by some rational or scientific approach to the problem. Matt Mccall, National Geographic, "2 weeks, 4 deaths, and the start of America's fear of sharks," 12 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of rational

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1601, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rational

Adjective

Middle English racional, from Anglo-French racionel, from Latin rationalis, from ration-, ratio

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Time Traveler for rational

Time Traveler

The first known use of rational was in the 14th century

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Statistics for rational

Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rational.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rationals. Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for rational

rational

adjective
How to pronounce rational (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rational

: based on facts or reason and not on emotions or feelings
: having the ability to reason or think about things clearly

rational

adjective
ra·​tio·​nal | \ ˈra-shə-nᵊl How to pronounce rational (audio) \

Kids Definition of rational

1 : having the ability to reason Humans are rational creatures.
2 : based on or showing reason rational thinking a rational decision

Other Words from rational

rationally adverb

rational

adjective
ra·​tio·​nal | \ ˈrash-nəl, -ən-ᵊl How to pronounce rational (audio) \

Medical Definition of rational

1a : having reason or understanding
b : 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 sense 1a

Other Words from rational

rationally \ -​ē How to pronounce rationally (audio) \ adverb

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rational

adjective
ra·​tio·​nal | \ ˈra-shə-nəl How to pronounce rational (audio) \

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 interestIn re J. M., 642 A.2d 1062 (1994)

Other Words from rational

rationality \ ˌra-​shə-​ˈna-​lə-​tē How to pronounce rationality (audio) \ noun
rationally adverb

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Comments on rational

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