Share this entry

ratiocinate Line breaks: rati¦ocin|ate
Pronunciation: /ˌratɪˈɒsɪneɪt/

Definition of ratiocinate in English:


[no object] formal
Form judgements by a process of logic; reason: a tendency to ratiocinate in isolation
More example sentences
  • Almost definitely two, actually, since she knew there were three new arrivals, and of course, she had already met one, she ratiocinated.
  • If the candidate seems prepared to ratiocinate every policy question rather than apply values to its solution, that candidate will lose.
  • His father, Alan Fry, was written up as the villain in these early times; an inventor whose ‘infuriatingly, cold, precise ratiocinating engine of a brain fuelled by a wholly egocentric passion.’


Mid 17th century: from Latin ratiocinat- 'deliberated, calculated', from the verb ratiocinari, from ratio (see ratio).



Pronunciation: /ˌratɪɒsɪˈneɪʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • One of his premises is that ratiocination is dependent on emotion, as mind is on body.
  • One fondly imagines that one reaches opinions by personal ratiocination, but of course many of them one inherits.
  • But Woolrich pretty much dispensed altogether with the ratiocination of traditional crime fiction.


Pronunciation: /ˌratɪˈɒsɪnətɪv/
Example sentences
  • Since this nature is rational and spiritual, reason is understood to be both ratiocinative and contemplative, but contemplation is the most sublime function of the soul.
  • Stafford's over-arching description for this transition is the change from a visual to a verbal culture, from one based on the instructive power of sensations to one rooted in the ratiocinative skills of language.
  • Modern detective fiction is usually traced back to Edgar Allan Poe's trilogy of short stories about C. Auguste Dupin, the archetypal ratiocinative sleuth, starting with The Murders in the Rue Morgue.


Pronunciation: /ˌratɪˈɒsɪneɪtə/
Example sentences
  • I've never learned enough about the details of his calculus ratiocinator to determine the answer.

Definition of ratiocinate in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day fortissimo
Pronunciation: fɔːˈtɪsɪməʊ
(especially as a direction) very loud or loudly