9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[rash-uh-nl-iz-uh m] /ˈræʃ ə nlˌɪz əm/
the principle or habit of accepting reason as the supreme authority in matters of opinion, belief, or conduct.
  1. the doctrine that reason alone is a source of knowledge and is independent of experience.
  2. (in the philosophies of Descartes, Spinoza, etc.) the doctrine that all knowledge is expressible in self-evident propositions or their consequences.
Theology. the doctrine that human reason, unaided by divine revelation, is an adequate or the sole guide to all attainable religious truth.
Architecture, (often initial capital letter)
  1. a design movement principally of the mid-19th century that emphasized the development of modern ornament integrated with structure and the decorative use of materials and textures rather than as added adornment.
  2. the doctrines and practices of this movement.
    Compare functionalism (def 1).
Origin of rationalism
1790-1800; rational + -ism
Related forms
rationalist, noun
rationalistic, rationalistical, adjective
rationalistically, adverb
antirationalism, noun
antirationalist, noun, adjective
antirationalistic, adjective
nonrationalism, noun
nonrationalist, noun
nonrationalistic, adjective
nonrationalistical, adjective
nonrationalistically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for rationalism
  • It doesn't seem particularly a new low in rationalism if partisans choose their series endpoints to confirm bias.
  • The two correspond to what you call constructive rationalism and evolutionary rationalism respectively.
  • Both economic rationalism and natural selection offer few explanations for such random acts of kindness.
  • Her rationalism is delivered in an angry barrage peppered with enthusiastically snide asides.
  • rationalism demands that the regional powers must do everything to douse the fire raging next door with water and not gasoline.
  • But there's also a good bit of science based rationalism.
  • Yet, a scientific rationalism was not what many of the great philanthropists sought from their gifts.
  • But the comet also sparked a small triumph for rationalism.
  • If evolution destroys anything, it does not destroy religion but rationalism.
  • Both had the same foxlike sharpness of reason to tear apart all modern forms of rationalism.
British Dictionary definitions for rationalism


reliance on reason rather than intuition to justify one's beliefs or actions
  1. the doctrine that knowledge about reality can be obtained by reason alone without recourse to experience
  2. the doctrine that human knowledge can all be encompassed within a single, usually deductive, system
  3. the school of philosophy initiated by Descartes which held both the above doctrines
the belief that knowledge and truth are ascertained by rational thought and not by divine or supernatural revelation
Derived Forms
rationalist, noun
rationalistic, adjective
rationalistically, adverb
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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