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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That’s all the more reason buyers - especially first-time buyers - should step back, breathe and consider all the costs involved, experts say. Rachel Layne, USA TODAY, 16 June 2021 While disruption can be uncomfortable, that’s not a reason to avoid it. Tammy Mcleod, Forbes, 15 June 2021 Another reason for the hurried vote: the possibility of the city and housing trust defaulting on the Friedrich property if the conditions in a sales agreement with the seller were not met. Madison Iszler, San Antonio Express-News, 14 June 2021 Thus another reason not to have that press conference. ABC News, 13 June 2021 All the more reason for Biden to negotiate with Erdogan from a position of strength. Peter Metzger, National Review, 12 June 2021 There’s ample reason to believe that both the role of women and race will be on the minds of the attendees next week, given the amount of media coverage to the topics in the runup to the event. Ryan Burge, The Conversation, 11 June 2021 There’s no reason to be lazy, for the lack of a better word. Washington Post, 11 June 2021 Princess Diana's wardrobe was among the world's most scrutinized—but the royal wasn't too concerned about the opinions of the press, often choosing her outfits for another (very cute) reason. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, 11 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But pigs love truffles too much and are difficult to reason with. Andrew Kornylak, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 May 2021 Shakey the robot is the first general-purpose mobile robot to be able to reason about its own actions. Gil Press, Forbes, 19 May 2021 That's because God gave us a brain to think and reason with. Holly Yan, CNN, 28 Apr. 2021 Whenever Muyej tried to reason with creuseurs who had sneaked onto industrial concessions, he was attacked with stones, and in 2019 there was so much unrest in Kolwezi that the military was sent in. Nicolas Niarchos, The New Yorker, 24 May 2021 Newsom said the city didn't even get a chance to try to reason with the neighborhoods because almost immediately after the committee would tour a potential location, the land would sell. Jessica Boehm, The Arizona Republic, 18 May 2021 The bar manager, then the security guard, tried unsuccessfully to reason with the man. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, 23 Apr. 2021 Trying to reason with your daughter is a waste of time. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, 16 Apr. 2021 Videos emerged of Pakistani army officers trying to reason with the violent protesters. New York Times, 15 Apr. 2021

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 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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Learn More About reason

Time Traveler for reason

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for reason

Last Updated

18 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reason.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reason. Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

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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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