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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rationale
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I leave it to the wise to decipher the rationale, but such is the fact.

    The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer, Complete Charles James Lever (1806-1872)
  • Yet I could contact no other rationale around me as far away as I could probe.

    Cogito, Ergo Sum John Foster West
  • "Marls appear to exist as rationale and emotion," I reasoned.

    Cogito, Ergo Sum John Foster West
  • Is it not possible to forget the fact too much in discussing the rationale of the process?

    Strong Souls Charles Beard
  • Throughout the book the order of presentation is the experiment, rationale, and remarks.

    James Cutbush Edgar F. Smith
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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