reason

noun
rea·​son | \ ˈrē-zᵊn How to pronounce reason (audio) \

Definition of reason

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a statement offered in explanation or justification gave reasons that were quite satisfactory
b : a rational ground or motive a good reason to act soon
c : a sufficient ground of explanation or of logical defense especially : something (such as a principle or law) that supports a conclusion or explains a fact the reasons behind her client's action
d : the thing that makes some fact intelligible : cause the reason for earthquakes the real reason why he wanted me to stay— Graham Greene
2a(1) : the power of comprehending, inferring, or thinking especially in orderly rational ways : intelligence
(2) : proper exercise of the mind
(3) : sanity
b : the sum of the intellectual powers
3 archaic : treatment that affords satisfaction
in reason within reason
: within reasonable limits
with reason
: with good cause

reason

verb
reasoned; reasoning\ ˈrēz-​niŋ How to pronounce reasoning (audio) , ˈrē-​zᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of reason (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a obsolete : to take part in conversation, discussion, or argument
b : to talk with another so as to influence actions or opinions can't reason with them
2 : to use the faculty of reason so as to arrive at conclusions

transitive verb

1 archaic : to justify or support with reasons
2 : to persuade or influence by the use of reason
3 : to discover, formulate, or conclude by the use of reason a carefully reasoned analysis

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Other Words from reason

Verb

reasoner \ ˈrēz-​nər How to pronounce reasoner (audio) , ˈrē-​zᵊn-​ər \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for reason

Verb

think, cogitate, reflect, reason, speculate, deliberate mean to use one's powers of conception, judgment, or inference. think is general and may apply to any mental activity, but used alone often suggests attainment of clear ideas or conclusions. teaches students how to think cogitate implies deep or intent thinking. cogitated on the mysteries of nature reflect suggests unhurried consideration of something recalled to the mind. reflecting on fifty years of married life reason stresses consecutive logical thinking. able to reason brilliantly in debate speculate implies reasoning about things theoretical or problematic. speculated on the fate of the lost explorers deliberate suggests slow or careful reasoning before forming an opinion or reaching a conclusion or decision. the jury deliberated for five hours

Examples of reason in a Sentence

Noun

I gave a reason for my absence. Is there a reason for your strange behavior? There is a reason why they don't want to come. I can't give you the report for the simple reason that it isn't yet finished. She explained her reasons for deciding to change jobs. He wanted to know the reason for their decision. Give me one good reason why I should believe you. For obvious reasons, we can't do that yet. For reasons of space, some of the charts and graphs have been omitted from the article. She resigned for personal reasons.

Verb

He lost the ability to reason. He reasoned that both statements couldn't be true. She reasoned that something must be wrong.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There’s a reason why the ACC is one of the top two or three RPI leagues in the country, year in and year out. Mike Berardino, Indianapolis Star, "Notre Dame will not renew Mik Aoki's contract after 9 seasons as baseball coach," 8 June 2019 There’s a reason Connecticut sits third in the league behind the Aces and Lynx in defensive rating. Kellen Becoats, SI.com, "Stingy Defense and Play of Jonquel Jones, Courtney Williams Is Winning Formula for Sun," 7 June 2019 Another reason that policymakers have not seriously pursued worker ownership may well be the ideological implications of such proposals. Osita Nwanevu, The New Yorker, "Bernie Sanders’s Walmart Speech May Offer a Preview of Larger Labor Proposals," 7 June 2019 One reason is that trade accounts for a surprisingly small portion of the economy. CBS News, "How Trump's tariffs on China and Mexico could hurt the U.S. economy," 6 June 2019 One reason is that nearly 20 years after pledging to eradicate child labor, chocolate companies still cannot identify the farms where all their cocoa comes from, let alone whether child labor was used in producing it. Peter Whoriskey, Anchorage Daily News, "Much of the chocolate you buy starts with child labor," 6 June 2019 The two reasons for going live, Sunde explained, were for leverage over the police and to expose their wrongdoings. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'This is live... He is going to blow my brains out.' How the I-94 standoff played out on Facebook Live," 6 June 2019 The automaker has no reason to change its plans for the site because of the current political climate, BMW board member Oliver Zipse at its inauguration Thursday. Gabrielle Coppola And Andrea Navarro / Bloomberg, Time, "Why Trump's Threatened Mexico Tariffs Are Really Bad News for BMW," 6 June 2019 Part of the reason the NBA forward Kevin Love can go public about experiencing a panic attack, and why the league has a mental-health wellness program, is because World Peace began discussing the issue openly years ago. Jemele Hill, The Atlantic, "The Turbulent Journey of Metta World Peace," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Emma may not have been a drug-corner slinger, but prosecutors reasoned that by fronting Jenny the money, making the buy and passing out the heroin, Emma was just as responsible for her death. Aubrey Whelan, https://www.inquirer.com, "Two friends shared heroin in a KFC bathroom. One died, one went to prison. Their families are picking up the pieces.," 6 June 2019 Taking samples from sponges, and checking the DNA therein, might thus, Dr Mariani reasoned, be an effective way to assess the diversity of species in the region surrounding a particular sponge. The Economist, "Using sponges to census the ocean," 5 June 2019 Instead of the mere ability to correlate fever and malaria, machines need the capacity to reason that malaria causes fever. Kevin Hartnett, The Atlantic, "How a Pioneer of Machine Learning Became One of Its Sharpest Critics," 19 May 2018 Private financing, the officials reasoned, would remove any voter doubts about being stuck with the tab. Bill Turque And Steve Vockrodt, kansascity, "KC Council votes to stick with KCI developer Edgemoor — for now | The Kansas City Star," 8 Feb. 2018 While there is no specific reasoning why the royal family will delay in sharing the little one's name, royals expert Victoria Arbiter shed some light on the tradition. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Gives Birth to a Baby Boy!," 6 May 2019 His Beethoven and Brahms Symphonies remain among the most tightly reasoned and precisely executed on the market, and his collaborations on those composers’ piano concertos, with Leon Fleisher, are still the gold standard. Allan Kozinn, WSJ, "‘George Szell: The Complete Columbia Album Collection’ Review: A Maestro’s Time in Cleveland Still Shines," 22 Aug. 2018 All four are talking about a president who isn't particularly on top of things or able to be reasoned with. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "The epidemic of Republicans talking about Trump like he's a child goes public," 18 Jan. 2018 Jack once again tries to reason with Nicky, who’s been self-medicating to make it through the days in Vietnam. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Is Us Just Dropped Two Massive Bombshells," 28 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reason.' 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 reason

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for reason

Noun

Middle English resoun, from Anglo-French raisun, from Latin ration-, ratio reason, computation, from reri to calculate, think; probably akin to Goth rathjo account, explanation

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Statistics for reason

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reason

The first known use of reason was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for reason

reason

noun

English Language Learners Definition of reason

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a statement or fact that explains why something is the way it is, why someone does, thinks, or says something, or why someone behaves a certain way
: a fact, condition, or situation that makes it proper or appropriate to do something, feel something, etc.
: the power of the mind to think and understand in a logical way

reason

verb

English Language Learners Definition of reason (Entry 2 of 2)

: to think in a logical way
: to form (a conclusion or judgment) by thinking logically

reason

noun
rea·​son | \ ˈrē-zᵊn How to pronounce reason (audio) \

Kids Definition of reason

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a statement given to explain a belief or an act My parents gave a reason for my absence.
2 : a fact that makes something right or fair to do I have reasons for what I did.
3 : cause entry 1 sense 1 The child wanted to know the reason for rain.
4 : the power to think and understand in a logical way
5 : a fair and sensible way of thinking about something He won't listen to reason.

reason

verb
reasoned; reasoning

Kids Definition of reason (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to think in a logical way
2 : to talk with another in a sensible way so as to influence his or her actions or opinions “It's a fear you can't be … reasoned out of.”— Kate DiCamillo, Because of Winn-Dixie
3 : to state or ask logically How, I reasoned, could such a thing happen?

reason

noun
rea·​son

Legal Definition of reason

1 : an underlying ground, justification, purpose, motive, or inducement required to provide reasons for the termination in writing
2a : the faculty of comprehending, inferring, or distinguishing especially in a fair and orderly way
b : the proper and sane exercise of the mind

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More from Merriam-Webster on reason

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reason

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reason

Spanish Central: Translation of reason

Nglish: Translation of reason for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reason for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about reason

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