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

Surveys indicate the price of an item is the biggest reason shoppers buy online with a particular merchant, Forrester’s Ms. Kodali said. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Retailers Are Warned to Step Slowly Into One-Day Shipping," 10 May 2019 And that new undercurrent is one of the reasons Banks, who helped the magazine take one of its first and most important steps toward inclusivity in 1997, was a no-brainer for one of this year's three covers, according to Day. Allure, "Tyra Banks Just Made History as the Oldest Model to Cover Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue," 9 May 2019 This is one of the reasons food deserts can be found in urban areas or very small towns. Jessica Booth, Redbook, "Everything You Need To Know About Food Deserts," 29 Apr. 2019 Instead, Big Mouth Billy Bass lives on as an Alexa Gadget – a line of random objects that seemingly has Alexa support for no particular reason. Dami Lee, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Gadgets," 30 Dec. 2018 Jon's fit to rule the Seven Kingdoms for more reasons than one, and the fact that his moral compass seems to be actually working is at the top of the list. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Daenerys Targaryen Should Not Be Queen of Westeros," 19 Apr. 2019 Turns out, Momoa nixed his facial hair for environmental reasons, specifically to raise awareness about plastic pollution. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Game of Thrones’ Jason Momoa Shaved His Iconic Beard, and Fans Are in a Frenzy," 18 Apr. 2019 And yet this production is, more than any thematic concern, really about Adam Driver, both for brass-tacks reasons—a major Broadway revival today all but requires a star of his clout—and also aesthetic ones. Jason Zinoman, Vogue, "In Burn This, Adam Driver and Keri Russell Find Love in a Hopeless Place," 15 Apr. 2019 An awful lot of stuff in that library is closed—for national security reasons, or for embarrassment to some liberal person or something. Eleanor Hildebrandt, Popular Mechanics, "Historian Robert Caro on the Importance of Analog Research in a Digital Age," 15 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 After three days, Janet, Hank’s wife, enters the lab and tries to reason with him. refinery29.com, "Ant-Man & The Wasp Have A Disturbing Incident Of Domestic Abuse In Their Past," 5 July 2018 For hours, police tried to reason with her, and would also use a robot, tear gas — none of which worked. Eric Adler And Glenn E. Rice, kansascity, "‘KCPD murdered my only daughter,’ says mother of woman who wielded decorative sword," 15 June 2018 The other man tries to reason with the crowd, but eventually gives up, dropping to the ground and curling up to protect himself as much as possible. Washington Post, "Rumors spread on social media fuel deadly India mob attacks," 14 June 2018 Meanwhile, Leonard goes to Raj and tries to reason with him. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "'The Big Bang Theory' Season 11, Episode 21 Recap: I Can’t Believe How Raj Treated Penny," 19 Apr. 2018 Manal tries to reason with her husband, as does Tony’s wife, Shirine (Rita Hayek), who is pregnant with their first child. A.o. Scott, New York Times, "Review: In ‘The Insult,’ the Dispute Is Personal. And Political.," 10 Jan. 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

15 May 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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