the act or process of ascribing one’s actions, opinions, etc., to causes that seem reasonable and valid but are actually unrelated to the true, possibly unconscious and often less complimentary ones:Those who torture prisoners believe, in their loftiest rationalizations, that they are committing their deeds for the good of the nation.
the act or process of making something conformable to reason or to the principle that reason is the highest authority for truth:In conceiving the world as a Newtonian universe governed by natural laws, Taylor provided the conceptual framework for the rationalization of the world in the 20th century.
Chiefly British. the act or process of reorganizing and integrating an industry, company, etc., to make it more efficient and profitable:The film studios were able to achieve such remarkable production figures through a rationalization of their working practices.
Mathematics. the act or process of eliminating radicals from an equation or expression:Rationalization will make calculation easier, as the denominator will now be an integer instead of a radical.
- Also especially British, ra·tion·al·i·sa·tion .
- non·ra·tion·al·i·za·tion; especially British, non·ra·tion·al·i·sa·tion, noun
- o·ver·ra·tion·al·i·za·tion; especially British, o·ver·ra·tion·al·i·sa·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use rationalization in a sentence
In an email to the Times regarding the lawsuit, LaBeouf stated he had “no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalizations” and he had “been abusive to myself and everyone around me for years.”FKA Twigs reframes the question of why abuse victims don’t leave: ‘Why are you holding someone hostage with abuse?’ | Sonia Rao | February 18, 2021 | Washington Post
Americans often appeal to the idea of America as rationalization for their decisions or as a point of pride.Overlapping crises expose the erosion of our national unity | Philip Bump | February 18, 2021 | Washington Post
I rationalized the dysfunction by reminding myself that every working environment had its good and bad qualities.The Toxicity of Restaurant Kitchens Is Exactly Why I Never Reported Abuses | Lindsey Danis | February 4, 2021 | Eater
It’s a little harder to rationalize my own desire to jump the gun.Will Major Marathons Actually Come Back This Fall? | Martin Fritz Huber | February 4, 2021 | Outside Online
Yet most of those in his party simply looked the other way at his conspiracy theorizing — or tried to rationalize his behavior.The Republican conspiracy-theory crisis, in one tweet | Philip Bump | February 3, 2021 | Washington Post
No, this is a victory for corporate greed digging its claws into whatever façade of a rationalization it can get within its grasp.
At the same time, there are those who ricochet between denial and rationalization.
But that sort of rationalization may be better tackled by psychologists than the justices of the Supreme Court.
But the scapegoat is convenient—and the rationalization is complacent.
Today she has a much different perspective, calling that decision many years ago “all justification and rationalization.”Rapists, Beware: Detroit Prosecutor IDs 21 Attackers in ‘Rape Kit’ Investigation | Abigail Pesta | August 28, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
The rods were so thin they hardly warranted a package of their own, but that is rationalization, as you call it.Warren Commission (3 of 26): Hearings Vol. III (of 15) | The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
Now after this rationalization you have made, Mrs. Paine, it is your recollection that you did not make such a comment?Warren Commission (3 of 26): Hearings Vol. III (of 15) | The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
It is not the rationalization of Jewish dogma that he is interested in, nor the reconciliation of religion and philosophy.A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy | Isaac Husik
"That's a childish rationalization, Tex," she said with a lot more sharpness than I had expected.Card Trick | Walter Bupp AKA Randall Garrett
They have not the ideal of progress which dominates the Western nations, and affords a rationalization of our active impulses.The Problem of China | Bertrand Russell