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[rash-uh-nal] /ˌræʃ əˈnæl/
the fundamental reason or reasons serving to account for something.
a statement of reasons.
a reasoned exposition of principles.
Origin of rationale
1650-60; < Latin: neuter of ratiōnālis rational
1. logic, basis, grounds. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for rationale
  • The rationale for the law is the idea that restaurants lose business because taco trucks can undercut their prices.
  • Probably not, but it should be fun to read everyone's rationale for their choices.
  • Now a new rationale for planetary exploration has emerged-environmentalism.
  • Any alternative expression system needs to have a really good, product-focused rationale if it is going to succeed.
  • Squeeze ur phone as you hold it if u r emotional or have a certain interactive rationale to this input source.
  • Despite its sleazy reputation, payola has a certain rationale.
  • Potential threats from rogue nations provide the rationale for the president's cost-is-no-object missile-defense plan.
  • Hurricane experts are now beginning to see scientific rationale behind this ancient practice.
  • Some of this faulty decision-making may also reflect the underlying rationale of hedge-fund investments.
  • Whatever the rationale, the momentum effect tells us something significant about markets.
British Dictionary definitions for rationale


a reasoned exposition, esp one defining the fundamental reasons for a course of action, belief, etc
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin, from Latin ratiōnālis
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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Word Origin and History for rationale

1650s, "exposition of principles," from Late Latin rationale, noun use of neuter of Latin rationalis "of reason" (see rational). Hence, "fundamental reason" (1680s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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