- a basis or cause, as for some belief, action, fact, event, etc.: the reason for declaring war.
- a statement presented in justification or explanation of a belief or action: I dare you to give me one good reason for quitting school!
- the mental powers concerned with forming conclusions, judgments, or inferences: Effective leadership requires a person of reason.
- sound judgment; good sense.
- normal or sound powers of mind; sanity.
- Logic. a premise of an argument.
- the faculty or power of acquiring intellectual knowledge, either by direct understanding of first principles or by argument.
- the power of intelligent and dispassionate thought, or of conduct influenced by such thought.
- Kantianism.the faculty by which the ideas of pure reason are created.
verb (used without object)
- to think or argue in a logical manner.
- to form conclusions, judgments, or inferences from facts or premises.
- to urge reasons which should determine belief or action.
verb (used with object)
- to think through logically, as a problem (often followed by out).
- to conclude or infer.
- to convince, persuade, etc., by reasoning.
- to support with reasons.
- bring (someone) to reason, to induce a change of opinion in (someone) through presentation of arguments; convince: The mother tried to bring her rebellious daughter to reason.
- by reason of, on account of; because of: He was consulted about the problem by reason of his long experience.
- in/within reason, in accord with reason; justifiable; proper: She tried to keep her demands in reason.
- stand to reason, to be clear, obvious, or logical: With such an upbringing it stands to reason that the child will be spoiled.
- with reason, with justification; properly: The government is concerned about the latest crisis, and with reason.
- the faculty of rational argument, deduction, judgment, etc
- sound mind; sanity
- a cause or motive, as for a belief, action, etc
- an argument in favour of or a justification for something
- philosophy the intellect regarded as a source of knowledge, as contrasted with experience
- logic grounds for a belief; a premise of an argument supporting that belief
- by reason of because of
- in reason or within reason within moderate or justifiable bounds
- it stands to reason it is logical or obviousit stands to reason that he will lose
- listen to reason to be persuaded peaceably
- reasons of State political justifications for an immoral act
- (when tr, takes a clause as object) to think logically or draw (logical conclusions) from facts or premises
- (intr usually foll by with) to urge or seek to persuade by reasoning
- (tr often foll by out) to work out or resolve (a problem) by reasoning
early 14c., resunmen, “to question (someone),” also “to challenge,” from Old French raisoner “speak, discuss; argue; address; speak to,” from Late Latin rationare “to discourse,” from ratio (see reason (n.)). Intransitive sense of “to think in a logical manner” is from 1590s; transitive sense of “employ reasoning (with someone)” is from 1847. Related: Reasoned; reasoning.
c.1200, “intellectual faculty that adopts actions to ends,” also “statement in an argument, statement of explanation or justification,” from Anglo-French resoun, Old French raison “course; matter; subject; language, speech; thought, opinion,” from Latin rationem (nominative ratio) “reckoning, understanding, motive, cause,” from ratus, past participle of reri “to reckon, think,” from PIE root *re(i)- “to reason, count” (cf. Old English rædan “to advise; see read (v.)).
Meaning “sanity; degree of intelligence that distinguishes men from brutes” is recorded from late 13c. Sense of “grounds for action, motive, cause of an event” is from c.1300. Middle English sense of “meaning, signification” (early 14c.) is in the phrase rhyme or reason. Phrase it stands to reason is from 1630s. Age of Reason “the Enlightenment” is first recorded 1794, as the title of Tom Paine’s book.
Also, within reason. Inside the bounds of good sense, justification, or practicality. For example, We need to keep our prices in reason, or He promised to do what he can to help us, within reason. [Late 1500s]
see by reason of; in reason; it stands to reason; listen to reason; lose one’s mind (reason); rhyme or reason; see reason; stand to reason; with reason.