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

The delivery partners must finish by 4 p.m. for security reasons. Washington Post, "The ‘Amazon of Africa’ faces a big challenge: No addresses," 4 Aug. 2019 Suspect Nikolas Cruz, 19, had recently been expelled from Douglas High for disciplinary reasons, officials said. NBC News, "Mass shooting in El Paso is deadliest in 2019, among worst in modern U.S. history," 4 Aug. 2019 An avid bicycle rider, Scott Rudin, of Deerfield, inherently became a fan of the park system in the village for reasons both obvious and subtle. Steve Sadin, chicagotribune.com, "Driven to honor their autistic son who died at 24, Deerfield family pledges $125,000 for park upgrades," 2 Aug. 2019 This collection is different than previous Kylie Cosmetics drops for a few reasons. Angela Trakoshis, Allure, "Kylie Jenner Is Launching Four New Products in Her Birthday Collection," 2 Aug. 2019 Cleveland quickly ordered Bird to remove the scooters for safety reasons. Robert Higgs, cleveland.com, "Cleveland is about to get scooters again, but will we embrace them or hate them?," 2 Aug. 2019 The blaze on El Cajon Boulevard near West Main Street erupted for unknown reasons about 3:45 p.m., according to Heartland Fire & Rescue. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fire rips through 2 mobile homes in El Cajon," 2 Aug. 2019 For those and other reasons, San Francisco led the nation earlier this year in banning the use of facial recognition technologies by government agencies. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why we like fake stuff on Facebook," 2 Aug. 2019 Many of these problems, in fact, are important for the exact same reasons that health care is important. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Democrats are skipping the most important health care debate," 2 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Judge Dodson’s decision was well-reasoned, well-written and supported by decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court, Florida Supreme Court and Florida’s District Courts of Appeal. Lisa J. Huriash, sun-sentinel.com, "State appeals after judge opens door for cities to challenge gun laws," 31 July 2019 For decades, immunologists had reasoned that the T-cell surveillance system might be able to detect and kill cancer cells. Siddhartha Mukherjee, The New Yorker, "The Promise and Price of Cellular Therapies," 15 July 2019 They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Paul Bloom, The New Yorker, "The Strange Appeal of Perverse Actions," 19 July 2019 Gottlieb’s FDA also delayed from 2018 to 2022 an Obama-era deadline requiring e-cigarette–makers to submit products for premarketing review, reasoning that this would give the industry time to develop in ways that help adult smokers quit. Charles Piller, Science | AAAS, "Exclusive: FDA enforcement actions plummet under Trump," 2 July 2019 The Higher Education Act says federal loans are not subject to state disclosure requirements, and the court reasoned that Great Lakes was accused only of failing to disclose certain information. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Court rules student loan companies are subject to state consumer laws, contrary to Trump administration’s stance," 29 June 2019 The inexorable command is to reason correctly so that justice is done, especially when constitutional rights are at stake. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: Let flawed court precedent fall," 28 June 2019 But their rhetoric is now more effective, thanks both to growing fears of instability as well as new tools of social media that favor emotional and angry language over calm and reasoned debate. Anne Applebaum, The New York Review of Books, "The Lure of Western Europe," 6 June 2019 His son's unit might have wanted to toughen his son up, Paul Clyde reasoned. Jennifer Emily, Dallas News, "Family of Dallas courthouse shooter Brian Clyde believes he wanted to be killed," 19 June 2019

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

7 Aug 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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