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 : the thing that makes some fact intelligible : cause the reason for earthquakes the real reason why he wanted me to stay— Graham Greene
d : 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
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 reason (audio) , ˈrē-​zᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of reason (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

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

Other Words from reason

Verb

reasoner \ ˈrēz-​nər How to pronounce reason (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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But that’s not the only reason businesses see change. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, 15 Aug. 2022 That's because unlike with other retirement accounts, Roth IRA contributions can be withdrawn at any time and for any reason without tax or penalty. Erik Carter, Forbes, 15 Aug. 2022 Others saw a different reason for 209 Times’ treatment of Ramirez. James Rainey, Los Angeles Times, 15 Aug. 2022 Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are returning to the U.K. for a poignant reason. Simon Perry, Peoplemag, 15 Aug. 2022 Casting about in these other territories became my reason for being. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, 15 Aug. 2022 The reason people are applauding and standing up for them is based on what somebody else did. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, 14 Aug. 2022 Two cases were dismissed; one was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and another had his conviction overturned on appeal. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, 14 Aug. 2022 Tim Dillon rants about fast food, living in Texas, Disney adults and the reason no one should be called a hero. Rodney Ho, ajc, 14 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb At first, Pozner tried to reason with the conspiracists, joining one of their Facebook groups and engaging in arguments with them for hours. Jake Bittle, The New Republic, 9 June 2022 Hayek is probably right to reason that, while resellers are an inevitability of any hot product, the tight distribution has at least limited their access to the MoonSwatch. Tim Barber, Wired, 18 July 2022 The first cognition is pleasant, but is inconsistent with the second, so the path of least resistance, for some people, is simply to disregard or reason away the second. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 23 June 2022 For decades, technologists kept saying that driverless cars, computers that reason like humans and robotic factory workers would soon be ubiquitous and better than what came before. Harrison Wolf, Forbes, 17 June 2022 Without modern symbolic algebra, mathematicians would reason geometrically. Quanta Magazine, 30 June 2022 Such new worlds also gave agents the chance to reason about changes in a new dimension: time. Quanta Magazine, 24 June 2022 There is still an immense amount of work to be done in making machines that truly can comprehend and reason about the world around them. Gary Marcus, Scientific American, 6 June 2022 Equally or more important to my job, though, is getting students to reason mathematically. Mark Wolfmeyer, Popular Mechanics, 25 May 2022 See More

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.

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 2b

History and Etymology for reason

Noun

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

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Time Traveler for reason

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near reason

reask

reason

reasonable

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Last Updated

17 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reason.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reason. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for reason

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, The Tale of Despereaux
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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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