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rationalize

[rash-uh-nl-ahyz, rash-nl-ahyz]
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verb (used with object), ra·tion·al·ized, ra·tion·al·iz·ing.
  1. to ascribe (one's acts, opinions, etc.) to causes that superficially seem reasonable and valid but that actually are unrelated to the true, possibly unconscious and often less creditable or agreeable causes.
  2. to remove unreasonable elements from.
  3. to make rational or conformable to reason.
  4. to treat or explain in a rational or rationalistic manner.
  5. Mathematics. to eliminate radicals from (an equation or expression): to rationalize the denominator of a fraction.
  6. Chiefly British. to reorganize and integrate (an industry).
verb (used without object), ra·tion·al·ized, ra·tion·al·iz·ing.
  1. to invent plausible explanations for acts, opinions, etc., that are actually based on other causes: He tried to prove that he was not at fault, but he was obviously rationalizing.
  2. to employ reason; think in a rational or rationalistic manner.
Also especially British, ra·tion·al·ise.

Origin of rationalize

First recorded in 1810–20; rational + -ize
Related formsra·tion·al·i·za·tion, nounra·tion·al·iz·er, nounnon·ra·tion·al·i·za·tion, nounnon·ra·tion·al·ized, adjectiveo·ver·ra·tion·al·i·za·tion, nouno·ver·ra·tion·al·ize, verb, o·ver·ra·tion·al·ized, o·ver·ra·tion·al·iz·ing.sem·i·ra·tion·al·ized, adjectiveun·ra·tion·al·ized, adjectiveun·ra·tion·al·iz·ing, adjective

Usage note

Although rationalize retains its principal 19th-century senses “to make conformable to reason” and “to treat in a rational manner,” 20th-century psychology has given it the now more common meaning “to ascribe (one's acts, opinions, etc.) to causes that seem reasonable but actually are unrelated to the true, possibly unconscious causes.” Although the possibility of ambiguity exists, the context will usually make clear which sense is intended.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unrationalized

Historical Examples

  • There is only a practical situation in its brute and unrationalized form.

    Essays in Experimental Logic

    John Dewey

  • This value depends chiefly on the unconscious and unrationalized nature of linguistic structure.

    Language

    Edward Sapir


British Dictionary definitions for unrationalized

rationalize

rationalise

verb
  1. to justify (one's actions, esp discreditable actions, or beliefs) with plausible reasons, esp after the event
  2. psychol to indulge, often unchallenged, in excuses for or explanations of (behaviour about which one feels uncomfortable or guilty)
  3. to apply logic or reason to (something)
  4. to eliminate unnecessary equipment, personnel, or processes from (a group of businesses, factory, etc), in order to make it more efficient
  5. (tr) maths to eliminate one or more radicals without changing the value of (an expression) or the roots of (an equation)
Derived Formsrationalization or rationalisation, nounrationalizer or rationaliser, 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

Word Origin and History for unrationalized

rationalize

v.

1767, "explain in a rational way, make conformable to reason," from rational + -ize. In the psychological sense of "to give an explanation that conceals true motives" it dates from 1922. Related: Rationalized; rationalizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

unrationalized in Medicine

rationalize

(răshə-nə-līz′)
v.
  1. To make rational.
  2. To devise self-satisfying but false or inconsistent reasons for one's behavior, especially as an unconscious defense mechanism through which irrational acts or feelings are made to appear rational to oneself.
Related formsra′tion•al•i•zation (-lĭ-zāshən) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.