[ rash-uh-nl-ahyz, rash-nl-ahyz ]
/ 藞r忙蕛 蓹 nl藢a瑟z, 藞r忙蕛 nl藢a瑟z /
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See synonyms for: rationalize / rationalizing / rationalization on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), ra路tion路al路ized, ra路tion路al路iz路ing.
verb (used without object), ra路tion路al路ized, ra路tion路al路iz路ing.
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.
to employ reason; think in a rational or rationalistic manner.
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Which of the following words describes 鈥渟ky blue鈥?
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Also especially British, ra路tion路al路ise .

Origin of rationalize

First recorded in 1810鈥20; rational + -ize

usage note for rationalize

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

OTHER WORDS FROM rationalize

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use rationalize in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for rationalize



/ (藞r忙蕛蓹n蓹藢la瑟z) /

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

Derived forms of rationalize

rationalization or rationalisation, nounrationalizer or rationaliser, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for rationalize

[ r膬sh蓹-n蓹-l墨z鈥 ]

To make rational.
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.

Other words from rationalize

ra鈥瞭ion鈥l鈥鈥ation (-l沫-z膩sh蓹n) n.
The American Heritage庐 Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright 漏 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.