Definition of rationalize in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈraʃ(ə)n(ə)lʌɪz/
(also rationalise)


[with object]
1Attempt to explain or justify (behaviour or an attitude) with logical reasons, even if these are not appropriate: she couldn’t rationalize her urge to return to the cottage
More example sentences
  • And the question would be so concise that there would be no room for you to minimise, justify or rationalise your behaviour.
  • ‘I like things to be just right,’ he said, laughing as he attempts to rationalise his behaviour.
  • Is this really a song about an abuser rationalizing his violent behaviour - or just a guy saying look I'm moody and hard to live with?
justify, explain (away), account for, defend, vindicate, excuse, make excuses for, make allowances for, give an explanation for, provide a rationale for, make acceptable
rare extenuate
2British Make (a company, process, or industry) more efficient, especially by dispensing with superfluous personnel or equipment: if we rationalize production, will that mean redundancies?
More example sentences
  • This funds a huge burst of creativity - which is followed by a Darwinian process that rationalizes the industry.
  • The government just finished drawing up a rough plan for streamlining and rationalizing the corporations at the end of last year.
  • Hurt by a downturn in the print industry, Wyndeham has been rationalising its business units to improve efficiency.
2.1Reorganize (a process or system) so as to make it more logical and consistent: Parliament should seek to rationalize the country’s court structure
More example sentences
  • Its arrival has not yielded a new Constitution, rationalised the party system, modernised justice or overhauled the bureaucracy in any of the ways its advocates hoped it would.
  • As the prison system is rationalized and restructured through each of these individual decisions, it's clear that the prisoners themselves are just pawns.
  • This concentration on rationalizing the tax system, however, fatally ignored the real Achilles heel of the royal finances.
streamline, make more efficient, improve the running of, trim, slim down, hone, make economies in, reduce wastage in, simplify;
make cutbacks in, cut back on, prune, retrench on;
reorganize, modernize, update
clarify, make consistent, apply logic/reasoning to
rare pragmatize
3 Mathematics Convert (a function or expression) to a rational form.
Example sentences
  • I don't care about rationalising denominators with surds in them, and I don't care that by using maths induction you can prove many equations to be right or wrong.
  • He knew that when some irrational number produced a very large quotient then it could be rationalised to produce an extremely accurate approximation to some irrational.
  • These effects should be considered when rationalizing the physical significance of n.



Example sentences
  • Shaq's success has exposed a host of critics and rationalizers - including Shaq himself - as clueless.
  • Indeed, there is no ‘why,’ a word which belongs to the accountants and rationalizers.
  • On these and many other questions, rationalizers changed their minds.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ra¦tion¦al|ize

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