Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The basis or motive for an action, decision, or conviction. See Usage Notes at because, why.
  • n. A declaration made to explain or justify action, decision, or conviction: inquired about her reason for leaving.
  • n. An underlying fact or cause that provides logical sense for a premise or occurrence: There is reason to believe that the accused did not commit this crime.
  • n. The capacity for logical, rational, and analytic thought; intelligence.
  • n. Good judgment; sound sense.
  • n. A normal mental state; sanity: He has lost his reason.
  • n. Logic A premise, usually the minor premise, of an argument.
  • intransitive v. To use the faculty of reason; think logically.
  • intransitive v. To talk or argue logically and persuasively.
  • intransitive v. Obsolete To engage in conversation or discussion.
  • transitive v. To determine or conclude by logical thinking: reasoned out a solution to the problem.
  • transitive v. To persuade or dissuade (someone) with reasons.
  • idiom by reason of Because of.
  • idiom in reason With good sense or justification; reasonably.
  • idiom within reason Within the bounds of good sense or practicality.
  • idiom with reason With good cause; justifiably.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A cause:
  • n. Rational thinking (or the capacity for it; the cognitive faculties, collectively, of conception, judgment, deduction and intuition.
  • n. Something reasonable, in accordance with thought; justice.
  • n. ratio; proportion.
  • v. To exercise the rational faculty; to deduce inferences from premises; to perform the process of deduction or of induction; to ratiocinate; to reach conclusions by a systematic comparison of facts.
  • v. Hence: To carry on a process of deduction or of induction, in order to convince or to confute; to formulate and set forth propositions and the inferences from them; to argue.
  • v. To converse; to compare opinions.
  • v. To arrange and present the reasons for or against; to examine or discuss by arguments; to debate or discuss.
  • v. To support with reasons, as a request.
  • v. To persuade by reasoning or argument.
  • v. To overcome or conquer by adducing reasons.
  • v. To find by logical process; to explain or justify by reason or argument.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A thought or a consideration offered in support of a determination or an opinion; a just ground for a conclusion or an action; that which is offered or accepted as an explanation; the efficient cause of an occurrence or a phenomenon; a motive for an action or a determination; proof, more or less decisive, for an opinion or a conclusion; principle; efficient cause; final cause; ground of argument.
  • n. The faculty or capacity of the human mind by which it is distinguished from the intelligence of the inferior animals; the higher as distinguished from the lower cognitive faculties, sense, imagination, and memory, and in contrast to the feelings and desires. Reason comprises conception, judgment, reasoning, and the intuitional faculty. Specifically, it is the intuitional faculty, or the faculty of first truths, as distinguished from the understanding, which is called the discursive or ratiocinative faculty.
  • n. Due exercise of the reasoning faculty; accordance with, or that which is accordant with and ratified by, the mind rightly exercised; right intellectual judgment; clear and fair deductions from true principles; that which is dictated or supported by the common sense of mankind; right conduct; right; propriety; justice.
  • n. Ratio; proportion.
  • intransitive v. To exercise the rational faculty; to deduce inferences from premises; to perform the process of deduction or of induction; to ratiocinate; to reach conclusions by a systematic comparison of facts.
  • intransitive v. Hence: To carry on a process of deduction or of induction, in order to convince or to confute; to formulate and set forth propositions and the inferences from them; to argue.
  • intransitive v. To converse; to compare opinions.
  • transitive v. To arrange and present the reasons for or against; to examine or discuss by arguments; to debate or discuss.
  • transitive v. To support with reasons, as a request.
  • transitive v. To persuade by reasoning or argument
  • transitive v. To overcome or conquer by adducing reasons; -- with down.
  • transitive v. To find by logical processes; to explain or justify by reason or argument; -- usually with out.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To exereise the faculty of reason; make rational deductions; think or choose rationally; use intelligent discrimination.
  • To practise reasoning in regard to something; make deductions from premises; engage in discussion; argue, or hold arguments.
  • To hold account; make a reckoning; reckon.
  • To hold discourse; talk; parley.
  • To reason about; consider or discuss argumentatively; argue; debate.
  • To give reasons for; support by argument; make a plea for: often with out: as, to reason out a proposition or a claim.
  • To persuade by reasoning or argument.
  • To hold argument with; engage in speech or discussion; talk with; interrogate.
  • n. An idea acting as a cause to create or confirm a belief, or to induce a voluntary action; a judgment or belief going to determine a given belief or line of conduct.
  • n. A fact, known or supposed, from which another fact follows logically, as in consequence of some known law of nature or the general course of things; an explanation.
  • n. An intellectual faculty, or such faculties collectively.
  • n. The logical faculties generally, including all that is subservient to distinguishing truth and falsehood, except sense, imagination, and memory on the one hand, and the faculty of intuitively perceiving first principles, and other lofty faculties, on the other.
  • n. The faculty of drawing conclusions or inferences, or of reasoning.
  • n. The faculty by which we attain the knowledge of first principles; a faculty for apprehending the unconditioned.
  • n. Intelligence considered as having universal validity or a catholic character, so that it is not something that belongs to any person, but is something partaken of, a sort of light in which every mind must perceive.
  • n. That which recommends itself to enlightened intelligence; some inward intimation for which great respect is felt and which is supposed to be common to the mass of mankind; reasonable measure; moderation; right; what mature and cool reflection, taking into account the highest considerations, pronounces for, as opposed to the prompting of passion.
  • n. A reasonable thing; a rational thing to do; an idea or a statement conformable to common sense.
  • n. The exercise of reason; reasoning; right reasoning; argumentation; discussion.
  • n. The intelligible essence of a thing or species; the quiddity.
  • n. In logic, the premise or premises of an argument, especially the minor premise.
  • n. By right or justice; properly; justly.
  • n. In French history, an act of worship of human reason, represented by a woman as the goddess of Reason, performed on November 10th, 1793, in the cathedral of Notre Dame, and also in other churches (renamed temples of Rea son) in France on that and succeeding days. The worship of Reason was designed to take the place of the suppressed Christian worship; recognition of the Supreme Being was restored through the influence of Robespierre.
  • n. Agreeable to reason; reasonable; just; proper; as, I will do anything in reason.
  • n. The human understanding; the discursive reason.
  • n. See do.
  • n. Synonyms Inducement, etc. (see motive), account, object, purpose, design.
  • n. An obsolete spelling of raisin. In the following passage it is apparently applied to some other fruit than the grape.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an explanation of the cause of some phenomenon
  • n. a justification for something existing or happening
  • v. think logically
  • n. the state of having good sense and sound judgment
  • v. decide by reasoning; draw or come to a conclusion
  • n. a rational motive for a belief or action
  • n. the capacity for rational thought or inference or discrimination
  • v. present reasons and arguments
  • n. a fact that logically justifies some premise or conclusion

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French raison, from Latin ratiō, ratiōn-, from ratus, past participle of rērī, to consider, think.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman raisun (Old French raison), from Latin rationem, an accusative of ratio, from ratus, past participle of reor ("think"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • If, on the other hand, the something to which a reason is provided is an actual (i.e., existing) thing, then ˜reason™ stands to explain why that thing as an actual thing comes into existence.

    Christian Wolff

  • On the one hand, if the something for which a reason is provided is regarded solely as a possible thing, then ˜reason™ stands to account for why that thing (as a possible thing) is the possible thing that it is.

    Christian Wolff

  • And for some reason, a fearful reason… he could not go.

    ugotsoul Diary Entry

  • There's no  reason why, Hugh, and don't take this personally, [but] there's no reason  why this, for this, necessarily, to come across as [though you and I are]   old, long-lost buddies.

    TEDBUNDY

  • I stood it until I became tortured day and night by the prod of reason, then I quietly left the church and bade farewell to the heathen Scapular and the ten thousand other trinkets of blind paganism, and resolved to break the chain of this "_slave of the soul_" and "_tyrant of reason_."

    Thirty Years In Hell Or, From Darkness to Light

  • 'God is for ever reason: and His communication, His revelation, is reason_.'

    Robert Elsmere

  • Joel, Dr. Marks says, on account of your falling behind in your lessons, without reason -- understand this, Joel, _without reason_ -- you are not to go to

    Five Little Peppers at School

  • Can there be a reason, in fine, assigned _for_ the _reason_, -- for that revelation by vision which accounts for the optical character of the description?

    The Testimony of the Rocks or, Geology in Its Bearings on the Two Theologies, Natural and Revealed

  • -- _Yet reason dares her -- No_, which he explains thus: _Yet_, says Angelo, _reason will give her courage_ -- _No_, that is, _it will not_.

    Notes to Shakespeare — Volume 01: Comedies

  • I still go against my mother when she gives me no good reason to do something, sometimes resorting to the reason× "Because".

    Wrong Planet Asperger / Autism Forums

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