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 reasoning (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 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 reason Hunter Biden got that position is because his daddy was Vice President of the United States. NBC News, "Meet the Press - December 8, 2019," 8 Dec. 2019 The reason, Levato says, is because the brands understood better what customers wanted. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "The battle between minimalist and maximalist fashion has reached a new equilibrium," 7 Dec. 2019 Then Manhattanite Sandy Lee returned to New York from a stint in Germany and opened Leckerlee, a seasonal bakery whose sole reason for being is lebkuchen. Ruth Reichl, Town & Country, "These Delicious Christmas Pastries Rely on More Than Nostalgia," 6 Dec. 2019 Thinking about another sale is probably the last thing on your mind—and for good reason. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "All the Best After Christmas Sales to Look Out for in 2019," 5 Dec. 2019 Engaging women at all levels has been a strategy for good reason. Kevin Allen, USA TODAY, "'Still a long way to go,' but women are gaining ground with new roles in the NHL," 5 Dec. 2019 The reason that car companies prefer secret settlements is to hide the existence of a potential pattern of defects from the public. Phoebe Wall Howard, Freep.com, "Ford workers break their silence on faulty transmissions: 'Everybody knew'," 5 Dec. 2019 Try identifying what the reason for Beckham’s lack of meaningful targets is after watching this play. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "After pedestrian outing versus Steelers, Odell Beckham Jr. seems destined for forgettable first season in Cleveland -- Film Review," 5 Dec. 2019 Another potential reason for unease is Robinhood’s underlying business model. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Red Flags for Robinhood," 4 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Today’s opinion by the attorney general appears to be well reasoned. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska Division of Elections rejects recall petition for Gov. Mike Dunleavy," 5 Nov. 2019 As with the other two questions, Abhinav Deshpande gave a superb, balanced, exhaustive and well-reasoned description of the current state of the art in this field, with references to some very good articles. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘Perfect Randomness’," 27 Sep. 2019 Young reasoned that this pattern emerged from light wavily spreading outward, like ripples across a pond, with crests and troughs from different light waves amplifying and canceling each other. Adam Hadhazy, Discover Magazine, "The Top 10 Science Experiments of All Time," 10 Oct. 2019 Football, McKenzie and Olson reasoned, would give Carr a bigger platform from which to preach and reach people. Jerry Mcdonald, The Mercury News, "Derek Carr nearly quit football for preacher’s life before rookie season with Raiders," 3 Sep. 2019 Divided loyalties, Locke reasoned, made dangerous subjects. The Economist, "For some in America, religious freedom has limits," 25 July 2019 Regardless of how the arbitration proceeds, the arbitrator shall issue a reasoned written decision sufficient to explain his or her findings and conclusions. National Geographic, "Terms & Conditions," 15 Sep. 2019 For Slate, Henry Grabar writes about public schools’ redesigns in the era of mass shootings, and how fear and the security industry are often leading decision-making, rather than a more patient, reasoned, intentional path. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Welcome to the Military-Educational Complex," 13 Sep. 2019 That conclusion stands in contrast to an earlier 2014 study from Oxford University that reasoned anxiety and low self-esteem were culprits in determining if a cannabis user would experience negative reactions. Brendan Bures, chicagotribune.com, "Marijuana makes you paranoid? Study suggests your genes are to blame," 13 Sep. 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 2b

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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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

11 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Reason.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/within%20reason. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for reason

reason

noun
How to pronounce reason (audio)

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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Comments on reason

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