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

Synonyms for rationale

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rationale

Contemporary Examples of rationale

Historical Examples of rationale

  • 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 for rationale

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

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