Definition of rationale in English:



  • A set of reasons or a logical basis for a course of action or belief:

    ‘he explained the rationale behind the change’
    • ‘A fair process requires publicity about the reasons and rationales that play a part in decisions.’
    • ‘But other reasons and rationales exist for adopting and strengthening an historical perspective.’
    • ‘One of the soldiers responsible for this act of blatant provocation explained the rationale.’
    • ‘I can never understand the rationale behind some of the things that women do these days.’
    • ‘The rationale behind Early Intervention was no more than blindingly obvious common sense.’
    • ‘It is one of the rationales behind the law of trespass.’
    • ‘Diplomatically, the American is happy to explain the rationale behind his attitude this year.’
    • ‘They could come back with their list and the rationale behind it for publication on Webdiary.’
    • ‘Apparently there is a rationale behind postfeminism that does have a feminist basis.’
    • ‘There are several reasons and rationales for guaranteeing the freedom of expression.’
    • ‘Yet, in that familiar paradox Freud makes his own, our drives have their own ineluctable logics and rationales.’
    • ‘What was the rationale behind the ludicrous decision to cutback on these schemes?’
    • ‘There may be rationales for such beliefs, but the weight of the evidence I've seen does not convince me.’
    • ‘Economic theory provides numerous rationales for government involvement in health.’
    • ‘Here, its chair and previous vice chair explain the rationale behind the decisions’
    • ‘Still it is very interesting to see all the various excuses and rationales in one place.’
    • ‘The rationale behind protecting the head is to escape from the vertical heat rays.’
    • ‘To understand the rationale behind this gamble, you need to be here in New Zealand.’
    • ‘It's the same rationale that lurks behind the ridiculous colour-coded terror alert level.’
    • ‘Those differences and the rationales behind them will be discussed below.’
    reasoning, thinking, Logic, grounds, sense
    principle, theory, philosophy, hypothesis, thesis, argument, case
    motive, motivation, the whys and wherefores, explanation, justification, excuse, vindication
    raison d'être
    View synonyms


Mid 17th century: modern Latin, neuter (used as a noun) of Latin rationalis endowed with reason (see rational).