American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To make rational.
- v. To interpret from a rational standpoint.
- v. To devise self-satisfying but incorrect reasons for (one's behavior): "Many shoppers still rationalize luxury purchases as investments” ( Janice Castro).
- v. Mathematics To remove radicals, such as from a denominator, without changing the value of (an expression) or roots of (an equation).
- v. Chiefly British To bring modern, efficient methods to (an industry, for example).
- v. To think in a rational or rationalistic way.
- v. To devise self-satisfying but incorrect reasons for one's behavior.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To make conformable to reason; give rationality to; cause to be or to appear reasonable or intelligible.
- To subject to the test of reason; explain or interpret by rational principles; treat in the manner of a rationalist; as, to rationalize religion or the Scriptures.
- In algebra, to free from radical signs.
- To think for one's self; employ the reason as a supreme test; argue or speculate upon the basis of rationality or rationalism; act as a rationalist.
- Also spelled rationalise.
- v. To make something rational or more rational.
- v. mathematics To remove radicals, without changing the value of an expression or the roots of an equation.
- v. To structure something along modern, efficient and systematic lines, or according to scientific principles.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To make rational; also, to convert to rationalism.
- v. To interpret in the manner of a rationalist.
- v. To form a rational conception of.
- v. (Alg.) To render rational; to free from radical signs or quantities.
- v. To use, and rely on, reason in forming a theory, belief, etc., especially in matters of religion: to accord with the principles of rationalism.
- v. think rationally; employ logic or reason
- v. weed out unwanted or unnecessary things
- v. defend, explain, clear away, or make excuses for by reasoning
- v. remove irrational quantities from
- v. structure and run according to rational or scientific principles in order to achieve desired results
- rational + -ize (Wiktionary)
“She had what she believed to be a good reason for revenge, and her villainous side was superbly played! on 26 May 2009 at 12: 25 pm thea the best villians are the high functioning ones, because they ‘seem’ so normal, and their ability to rationalize is quite scary. on 26 May 2009 at 12: 31 pm Karin Tabke”
“- Emerging markets to "rationalize" - we've beaten the China drum to death but there are others out there.”
“It has been said that to rationalize is to tell rational lies, and we have been doing a lot of rationalizing capitalism over the past 5-10 years.”
“Our references to other conflicts are not intended to "rationalize" of "justify" the contemporary actions of Al Qaeda.”
“A quick reaction occurs emotionally, and then people "rationalize" it.”
“Meanwhile, state-owned oil, aluminum and steel company are obliged to "rationalize" their electric use.”
“Meanwhile, the company plans to seek ways to further reduce costs and continues to "rationalize" its distribution network.”
“Americans, however, try to "rationalize" this by saying, "these are people who choose not to have health insurance.”
“We then explain or "rationalize" them away with our rational thinking part.”
“But, in fact, his energy plan doesn't specify any new federal spending for renewable energy and says only that he'd "rationalize" existing tax credits to provide incentives.”
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