Definition of raison d'être in English:

raison d'être

Line breaks: rai¦son d'être
Pronunciation: /ˌreɪzɒ̃ ˈdɛtrə
, ʀɛzɔ̃ dɛtʀ/

noun (plural raisons d'être pronounced same)

The most important reason or purpose for someone or something’s existence: seeking to shock is the catwalk’s raison d'être
More example sentences
  • After all, is this not its entire raison d'être, in contrast to the anarchy of capitalism?
  • In the former, the raison d'être of most experiments appears to be the elucidation of points of purely scientific interest.
  • We started with the real raison d'être for our armed forces.


French, literally 'reason for being'.

Definition of raison d'être in:

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having an extremely offensive smell