Meaning of REASON in English


I. reas·on ˈrez ə n noun

( -s )

Etymology: alteration of Middle English rasen, from Old English ræsn; akin to Gothic razn house — more at ransack

: a horizontal timber over a row of posts or puncheons supporting a beam

II. rea·son ˈrēz ə n noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English resoun, from Old French raison, from Latin ration-, ratio reason, computation, reasoning; akin to Old Frisian rethe speech, proof, Old High German redia account, Gothic rathjo account, number, ga rathjan to count, Latin reri to calculate, believe, think, Greek arariskein to fit — more at arm


a. : an expression or statement offered as an explanation of a belief or assertion or as a justification of an act or procedure

gave reasons that were quite satisfactory

b. : a consideration, motive, or judgment inducing or confirming a belief, influencing the will, or leading to an action or course of action : a rational ground or motive

will mention a reason for this situation

the reason that this is so should now be clear

a good reason to act as you do

does not know the reason why

c. : a sufficient ground of explanation or of logical defense ; especially : a general principle, law, or warranted presumption that supports a conclusion, explains a fact, or validates a course of conduct

brilliantly outlined the reasons that supported his client's action

d. : the thing that makes some fact intelligible : cause

the reason for the tides lies in the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun

e. : a sane or sound view or consideration

that's a reason that you should keep in mind



(1) : the power of comprehending, inferring, or thinking especially in orderly, sensible, rational ways

was afraid that his reason might be deranged

must use reason to solve this problem

: the ability to trace out the implications of a combination of facts or suppositions

a reason that is far beyond her years

(2) : proper exercise of the intellective faculty in accordance with right judgment : right use of the mind : right thinking

attempted to bring her to reason

(3) : a sane or sound mind marked by the right use of the intellective faculty : reasonableness and sanity of the mind

was afraid she would lose her reason


(1) : a distinct cognitive faculty coordinate with perception and understanding : human intelligence or intellect

(2) : the sum of the intellectual powers

(3) : universal or general rationality of all minds viewed as a whole

(4) : mind or intelligence viewed as a rational soul pervading the whole of nature or of the universe

c. : nous , noesis

a transcendent ideal that only reason beyond experience can conceive — John Dewey

d. Aristotelianism

(1) : the function of the soul that is pure actuality, operates on the material furnished by passive reason, is immaterial and imperishable, and enjoys impersonal immortality — called also active reason, creative reason

(2) : the function of the soul which operates with sensuous images and in which concepts are merely potential so that they need to be formed by active reason — called also passive reason

(3) : practical reason

e. Scholasticism

(1) : intellect

(2) : ratio

f. Kantianism & German idealism : the highest faculty of the mind especially when conceived of as the faculty of framing general conceptions or of directly apprehending universals — distinguished from understanding

3. logic : premise ; especially : minor premise


a. archaic : equitable or honorable treatment that affords satisfaction and that is prompted by the demands of either propriety or justice

b. archaic : a formal accounting

c. obsolete : a reasonable amount or degree


reason , ground , argument , proof can mean, in common, a point or set of related points offered or offerable in support of something disputed. reason can indicate any motive, consideration, or inducement offered in explanation or defense of a practice, action, opinion, or belief

the family side of the house is used for cooking, and for this reason visitors are invited to sit at the other end — Wilfred Thesiger

for various reasons, the times and his own health included — J.C.Archer

present illogical but forceful reasons for refusing an invitation

ground and grounds are often used interchangeably with reason and reasons but tend to apply to evidence, facts, data, reasoning used in defense rather than to motives or considerations, often suggesting a more solid support than reason

a ground for apprehension that is not unjustified — D.W.Brogan

belittles the effectiveness of several provisions on the ground they are not new — Wall Street Journal

the future as we see it offers no grounds for easy optimism — Current Biography

objects to the statement on grounds that it reflects upon him personally — Monsanto Magazine

argument stresses the intent to convince or persuade, implying the use of evidence or reasoning in support of a contention or enhancement of the persuasive effect

hear the arguments for and against pacifism

a good argument can be made for the position that economic integration is very difficult if it is tackled on its own side alone — Dean Acheson

this book is an inquiry into the proper limitations upon freedom of speech, and is in no way an argument that any one should be allowed to say whatever he wants anywhere and at any time — Zechariah Chafee

one of the commonest of all evasions; the argument which is not an argument but an appeal to the emotions — Virginia Woolf

the best argument against vegetarianism is the Eskimos — Rudolf Flesch & A.H.Lass

proof implies conclusive logical demonstration but has come to mean any piece of evidence (as a fact or document), any testimony or argument that evokes a feeling of certainty in those who are to be convinced

Euclid, the author of the Elements, who gave irrefutable proofs of the looser demonstrations of his predecessors — Benjamin Farrington

that he did not break under the terrible strain seems proof enough that he was sent by Providence to lead America to freedom — F.V.W.Mason

laughter is supposed to be our affair and optimism a proof of our youth and our resilience — John Mason Brown

left the house with a ton of conjecture, though without a grain of proof — Thomas Hardy


understanding , intuition : reason centers attention on the faculty for order, sense, and rationality in thought, inference, and conclusion about perceptions

the maintenance of reason — the establishment of criteria, by which ideas are tested empirically and in logic — Dorothy Thompson

reason is logic; its principle is consistency; it requires that conclusions shall contain nothing not already given in their premises — H.M.Kallen

understanding may sometimes widen the scope of reason to include both most thought processes leading to comprehension and also the resultant state of knowledge

understanding is the entire power of perceiving and conceiving, exclusive of the sensibility; the power of dealing with the impressions of sense, and composing them into wholes — S.T.Coleridge

philosophy is said to begin in wonder and end in understanding — John Dewey

intuition stresses quick knowledge or comprehension without orderly reason, thought, or cogitation

all this … I saw, not discursively, or by effort, or by succession, but by one flash of horrid simultaneous intuition — Thomas De Quincey

do we not really trust these faint lights of intuition, because they are lights, more than reason, which is often too slow a councillor? — G.W.Russell

Used in connection with 19th century literary and philosophic notions, understanding often suggests the cold analytical order usually associated with reason and reason in turn suggests the spontaneity of intuition

the understanding was the faculty that observed, inferred, argued, drew conclusions … the cold, external, practical notion of life. … The reason was the faculty of intuition, warm, perceptive, immediate that represented the mind of young New England — Van Wyck Brooks

Synonym: see in addition cause .

- in reason

- within reason

- with reason

III. reason verb

( reasoned ; reasoned ; reasoning -z( ə )niŋ ; reasons )

Etymology: Middle English resonen, from Middle French raisonner to discuss, reason, from Old French, from raison, n. — more at reason II

intransitive verb

1. : to use the faculty of reason so as to arrive at conclusions : think

is able to reason brilliantly


a. obsolete : to take part in a conversation, discussion, or argument with another

b. : to talk or discourse persuasively with another so as to influence, modify, or change the other's actions or opinions

is someone you simply can't reason with

transitive verb

1. archaic

a. : discuss , argue

am in no humor to reason that point — Maria Edgeworth


(1) : to analyze by the use of reason (as in critically examining or in seeking out inferences or conclusions)

(2) : to justify or support with reasons

this boy … does reason our petition — Shakespeare

2. : to persuade, influence, or otherwise prevail on by the use of reason

reasoned myself out of the instincts and rules by which one mostly surrounds oneself — W.B.Yeats

reasoned her into believing what he said

3. : to discover, formulate, or conclude by the use of reason — usually used with out

reason out a plan

the steadiness of a reasoned conviction — A.L.Guérard

Synonyms: see think

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.