reason

noun
rea·son | \ˈrē-zᵊn \

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, 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, 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

For reasons largely unknown, the birds frequently attack cars and rip off parts of windshield wipers, sunroof seals, and rubber or vinyl parts. Jordyn Hermani, Indianapolis Star, "Black vultures are eating cows alive. But it's difficult to legally kill the birds.," 13 July 2018 Unlike Pruitt, who was a confidant of the president, Price had been on weak ground with Trump for other reasons. Amy Goldstein, Washington Post, "Former HHS secretary Tom Price’s air travel wasted $341,000 in government funds, watchdog says," 13 July 2018 How did Strzok respond: Strzok claimed that, to his knowledge, he was removed from the probe for reasons related to public perception — presumably to maintain trust in the integrity of Mueller’s team — rather than any concern about bias on his part. Alana Abramson, Time, "3 Moments That Actually Mattered at the Peter Strzok Hearing," 13 July 2018 In fact, the strains were genetically different on different continents—suggesting that C. auris had not begun in one place and then spread by transmission, but had arisen simultaneously everywhere, for reasons no one could discern. Maryn Mckenna, WIRED, "The Strange and Curious Case of the Deadly Superbug Yeast," 13 July 2018 Both of these men are in trouble — but for different reasons. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "A man stole a gun from a store, cops say. But what a manager did next got him fired.," 12 July 2018 But a 1962 law gave presidents the authority to levy tariffs for national security reasons. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Paul Ryan Unaware Constitution Lets Congress Override Presidential Veto," 12 July 2018 Roscosmos first tried to use the new maneuver last year, but it was aborted for technical reasons. Vladimir Isachenkov, The Seattle Times, "Russian cargo ship makes fastest-ever trip to space station," 10 July 2018 Teen Vogue Take To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that : 0%: 0% His retirement is critical for two reasons. Lily Herman, Teen Vogue, "What Donald Trump’s Supreme Court Nomination Could Mean for Abortion Access," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Dorfman reasoned that a semimonthly benefit would more closely mirror the normal financial budgeting of SNAP recipients in working families. Nedra Rhone, ajc, "Study: Minority of SNAP recipients spend benefits early in the month," 10 July 2018 Such a fight could lead to a dicier path to confirmation through a narrow Senate majority, as well as more difficult midterm campaigns for a few Republicans, some of those people reasoned. Peter Nicholas, WSJ, "Trump Zeroes In on Supreme Court Pick," 6 July 2018 In a universe that had been around for some 14 billion years, and in that time developed more than a billion trillion stars, Fermi reasoned there simply must be other intelligent civilizations out there. Liv Boeree, Vox, "Why haven’t we found aliens yet?," 3 July 2018 The man who escaped the courthouse was guilty of rape, Brady reasoned. Michael Kiefer, azcentral, "Serial rapist to be sentenced after authorities solve name mystery," 2 July 2018 Sambursky reasoned that the information within the board documents did necessitate an immediate action from the board’s three senior members. Dawn Rhodes, chicagotribune.com, "Supporters flock to defend embattled SIU president as trustees consider ouster," 21 June 2018 The bar for decency, transparency, reasoned leadership and even truth in Trump’s Washington is too low. John Baer, Philly.com, "Does child-separation policy mean lasting political harm to Trump? Or does it fade as other issues have? | John Baer," 19 June 2018 When denying the motion, Jacobson reasoned that the months spent on trial’s jury selection and prosecution case would provide time for Briggs’ experts. Megan Cassidy, San Francisco Chronicle, "Ghost Ship fire trial on schedule for July after defendants refuse plea offer," 14 June 2018 An engineer and inventor, Bateman reasoned if accurate location information was compared with three-dimensional maps, then a computer could determine if ground impact was likely and provide warning to the pilots in time for a successful escape. John Cox, USA TODAY, "Accidents that changed aviation: Controlled flight into terrain," 6 May 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

16 Oct 2018

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 \

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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Comments on reason

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