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


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