[ rey-zohn de-truh; French re-zawn de-truh ]
/ ˈreɪ zoʊn ˈdɛ trə; French rɛ zɔ̃ ˈdɛ trə /
noun, plural rai·sons d'ê·tre [rey-zohnz de-truh; French re-zawn de-truh] /ˈreɪ zoʊnz ˈdɛ trə; French rɛ zɔ̃ ˈdɛ trə/.
reason or justification for being or existence: Art is the artist's raison d'être.
IT’S A WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ BONANZA!
This windfall of words will make you rich with knowledge. Mine your memory on the words from July 27 to August 2!
Question 1 of 7
What does "scattergood" mean?
a person who acts as though he or she knows everything and who dismisses the opinions, comments, or suggestions of others.
a person who spends possessions or money extravagantly or wastefully; spendthrift.
a well-intentioned but naive and often ineffectual social or political reformer.TAKE THE QUIZ TO FIND OUT
Origin of raison d'être
Borrowed into English from French around 1865–70
Words nearby raison d'être
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for raison d'etre
/ French (rɛzɔ̃ dɛtrə) /
noun plural raisons d'être (rɛzɔ̃ dɛtrə)
reason or justification for existence
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
Cultural definitions for raison d'etre
[ (ray-zohnn det-ruh) ]
A basic, essential purpose; a reason to exist: “Professor Naylor argues that in the nuclear age, infantry forces have lost their raison d'être.” From French, meaning “reason for being.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.