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

The one-page order was largely procedural and did not explain the court’s reasoning. Jim Saunders,, "Court halts death records release to nursing home," 10 July 2018 Not everyone agreed that Blackmun’s reasoning made sense. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "Trump's Supreme Court Pick Puts Spotlight on Roe v. Wade on 150th Anniversary of the Amendment That Made the Case Possible," 9 July 2018 If Wielgus’s reasoning was correct, the finding was explosive. New York Times, "Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf Scientist?," 5 July 2018 One longtime Supreme Court reporter once told me that the best way to wrap your brain around a hot-button decision was to read it backwards — the dissent first, so as to get a good grasp of the holes and weaknesses in the majority’s reasoning. Cristian Farias, Daily Intelligencer, "It’s Donald Trump’s Supreme Court Now," 26 June 2018 Sillanpää’s entanglement was longer-lasting, but his team needed a complicated chain of theoretical reasoning to infer that the drum heads’ motions were truly entangled. Gabriel Popkin, Science | AAAS, "Einstein’s ‘spooky action at a distance’ spotted in objects almost big enough to see," 25 Apr. 2018 Victim impact statements are common; judges routinely explain their reasoning in heated terms, sometimes criticizing defendants, sometimes putting their actions in context to justify more lenient sentences. Jill Filipovic, Cosmopolitan, "Rosemarie Aquilina Reminds Us That Judges Should Be Impartial But They Should Also Be Human," 26 Jan. 2018 Last month, a study published in the journal Appetite concluded that regularly chowing down on the dark stuff leads to better cognitive brain function — including stronger working memory, spatial organization, and reasoning skills. Maria Carter, Woman's Day, "Researchers Say Eating Chocolate Every Day Can Have Serious Health Benefits," 17 July 2016 The reasoning behind it all wasn't a tank job — and the Rangers haven't yet sold off their key veterans — but to continue the organization-wide development plan. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: No matter what Daniels calls it, it's time to embrace the long-term plan," 7 June 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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Phrases Related to reasoning

line of reasoning

Statistics for reasoning

Last Updated

5 Oct 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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