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[ih-rash-uh-nl-iz-uh m] /ɪˈræʃ ə nlˌɪz əm/
irrationality in thought or action.
an attitude or belief having a nonrational basis.
a theory that nonrational forces govern the universe.
1805-15; irrational + -ism
Related forms
irrationalist, adjective, noun
irrationalistic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for irrationalism
  • It accomplishes nothing with the militants but exposes their irrationalism to the lurkers.
  • The war of ideas is a war about rationalism as opposed to irrationalism.
  • To be specific, you speak of a belief in a soul as either a misunderstanding of science, or some form of chosen irrationalism.
  • To be sure, there is plenty of evidence that ignorance and irrationalism are rampant.
British Dictionary definitions for irrationalism


the state or quality of being irrational
irrational thought, action, or behaviour
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for irrationalism

a 19th- and early 20th-century philosophical trend that claimed to enrich man's apprehension of life by expanding it beyond the rational to its fuller dimensions. Rooted either in metaphysics or in an awareness of the uniqueness of human experience, irrationalism stressed the dimensions of instinct, feeling, and will as over and against reason. The term is used chiefly by continental European philosophers, who regard irrationalism as one of several strong currents flowing into the 20th century.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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