- the principle or habit of accepting reason as the supreme authority in matters of opinion, belief, or conduct.
- the doctrine that reason alone is a source of knowledge and is independent of experience.
- (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)
- 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.
- the doctrines and practices of this movement.Compare functionalism(def 1).
Origin of rationalism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for rationalist
From the outset, the idea that the rationalist, centrist, administration would pursue this path seemed fanciful.Obama Brinksmanship Puts GOP in Tough Spot on Debt Ceiling
January 14, 2013
Evidently he was less familiar with the opinions of The Rationalist than he had thought.All Roads Lead to Calvary
Jerome K. Jerome
They have all which the rationalist appeals to as his tests of right and wrong.The Way of All Flesh
In the early years of his London life, Mill had been only a rationalist.The English Utilitarians, Volume II (of 3)
I had left the temple a devotee, and was returned a rationalist.The Town
There isn't a rationalist in London that could shake the man's belief.A Lost Cause
Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
- reliance on reason rather than intuition to justify one's beliefs or actions
- the doctrine that knowledge about reality can be obtained by reason alone without recourse to experience
- the doctrine that human knowledge can all be encompassed within a single, usually deductive, system
- 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
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
Word Origin and History for rationalist
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper