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[ree-zuh-nuh-buh l, reez-nuh-] /ˈri zə nə bəl, ˈriz nə-/
agreeable to reason or sound judgment; logical:
a reasonable choice for chairman.
not exceeding the limit prescribed by reason; not excessive:
reasonable terms.
moderate, especially in price; not expensive:
The coat was reasonable but not cheap.
endowed with reason.
capable of rational behavior, decision, etc.
Origin of reasonable
1250-1300; Middle English resonable < Middle French raisonnable < Latin ratiōnābilis. See reason, -able
Related forms
reasonableness, reasonability, noun
reasonably, adverb
half-reasonable, adjective
half-reasonably, adverb
nonreasonability, noun
nonreasonable, adjective
nonreasonableness, noun
nonreasonably, adverb
quasi-reasonable, adjective
quasi-reasonably, adverb
Can be confused
rational, reasonable (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. intelligent, judicious, wise, equitable. Reasonable, rational refer to the faculty of reasoning. Rational can refer to the reasoning faculty itself or to something derived from that faculty: rational powers; a rational analysis. It can also mean sane or sensible: She was no longer rational; a rational plan. Reasonable most often means sensible: A reasonable supposition is one which appeals to our common sense. 2. equitable, fair, just. See moderate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for reasonable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • “Any ship is that—for a reasonable man,” generalised Marlow in a conciliatory tone.

    Chance Joseph Conrad
  • Young women on the eve of a vacation were not usually so reasonable.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • She looks upon it rather as one of the reasonable conditions of progress.

  • Good; twenty and thirty sous; I am glad that you are reasonable.

  • There was, he noticed, a reasonable supply, but no heavy stock.

    Sudden Jim Clarence Budington Kelland
British Dictionary definitions for reasonable


showing reason or sound judgment
having the ability to reason
having modest or moderate expectations; not making unfair demands
moderate in price; not expensive
fair; average: reasonable weather
Derived Forms
reasonably, adverb
reasonableness, noun
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 reasonable

c.1300, "having sound judgment, sane, rational," from Old French raisonable, from Latin rationabilis, from ratio (see reason (n.)).

What the majority of people consider to be 'reasonable' is that about which there is agreement, if not among all, at least among a substantial number of people; 'reasonable' for most people, has nothing to do with reason, but with consensus. [Erich Fromm, "The Heart of Man," 1968]
Meaning "moderate in price" is recorded from 1660s. Related: Reasonably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with reasonable


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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