rea·​son·​ing | \ˈrēz-niŋ, ˈrē-zᵊn-iŋ\

Definition of reasoning 

1 : the use of reason especially : the drawing of inferences or conclusions through the use of reason

2 : an instance of the use of reason : argument

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Examples of reasoning in a Sentence

Could you explain your reasoning? They told everyone the reasoning behind the decision. a conclusion based on fallacious reasoning Humans possess the power of reasoning.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Brooks cited his busy schedule as the reasoning behind his controversial decision, but Church wasn't convinced. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Eric Church Is NOT Happy That Garth Brooks Lip-Synced at the 2017 CMA Awards," 30 July 2018 Chalk that up to a troubled home life, maybe, or an insatiable wanderlust; the movie doesn’t lean too hard on the reasoning. K. Austin Collins, HWD, "Review: In Adrift, Shailene Woodley Proves a Worthy Anchor," 1 June 2018 As the sun burned off the marine layer of clouds over the orchard, Sayer patiently laid out the reasoning that led him to plant avocado trees. Nathanael Johnson, WIRED, "Are Avocados Toast?," 24 May 2018 Just as the sound policies of the early 2000s were rewarded by rising incomes, the reckless borrowing of recent years must soon be punished by a deep recession, the reasoning goes. The Economist, "How Turkey fell from investment darling to junk-rated emerging market," 19 May 2018 Gilgeous-Alexander Remember the reasoning on signing Michael Carter-Williams as a free agent last summer? Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "For Charlotte Hornets, is point guard depth a burning draft need? | Charlotte Observer," 18 May 2018 The same reasoning might explain why, despite both being capable of flight, birds lived while pterosaurs perished. Brian Switek, Smithsonian, "What Doomed the Pterosaurs?," 14 Mar. 2018 Under the same reasoning, our adversaries could harm U.S. civilians in their custody, so long as the victims were not brought back to the territory of the belligerent in question. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "Here's Your Shocking Trump Judicial Nominee of the Day," 10 Jan. 2018 Transparent ruffly loveliness was the reasoning behind Cailee Spaeny’s choice of Valentino, while Sarah Paulson went super hip in Raf Simons for Calvin Klein’s graphic, fringy, leather skirted frock. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "10 Best Dressed: Week of October 22, 2018," 22 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reasoning.' 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 reasoning

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for reasoning

Last Updated

30 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for reasoning

The first known use of reasoning was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for reasoning



English Language Learners Definition of reasoning

: the process of thinking about something in a logical way in order to form a conclusion or judgment

: the ability of the mind to think and understand things in a logical way

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Comments on reasoning

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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