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rationalize Syllabification: ra·tion·al·ize
Pronunciation: /ˈraSHənlˌīz/

Definition of rationalize in English:


[with object]
1Attempt to explain or justify (one’s own or another’s behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true or 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, explain away, account for, defend, vindicate, excuse
2Make (a company, process, or industry) more efficient by reorganizing it in such a way as to dispense with unnecessary personnel or equipment: his success was due primarily to his ability to rationalize production
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.
streamline, reorganize, modernize, update;
trim, hone, simplify, downsize, prune
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.



Pronunciation: /ˌraSHənl-əˈzāSHən/ /ˌraSHnələ-/
Example sentences
  • They'll bounce right back with excuses, rationalizations, and inane explanations of powers that weren't there in the first place.
  • Ingmar Bergman said, ‘Explanations are clumsy rationalizations with hindsight.’
  • Most certainly, however, they are an argument for their rationalisation and for strict management.


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.

Definition of rationalize in:

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