rationalize
verb (-ized; -izing) Date: 1803 transitive verb 1. to bring into accord with reason or cause something to seem reasonable: as a. to substitute a natural for a supernatural explanation of <
rationalize a myth
>
b. to attribute (one's actions) to rational and creditable motives without analysis of true and especially unconscious motives <
rationalized his dislike of his brother
>
; broadly to create an excuse or more attractive explanation for <
rationalize the problem
>
2. to free (a mathematical expression) from irrational parts <
rationalize a denominator
>
3. to apply the principles of scientific management to (as an industry or its operations) for a desired result (as increased efficiency) intransitive verb to provide plausible but untrue reasons for conduct • rationalizable adjectiverationalization nounrationalizer noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • rationalize — ra‧tion‧al‧ize [ˈræʆnəlaɪz] also rationalise verb [intransitive, transitive] COMMERCE to make a business or organization more effective by getting rid of unnecessary staff, equipment etc, or reorganizing its structure: • The company has been… …   Financial and business terms

  • rationalize — [rash′ən ə līz΄] vt. rationalized, rationalizing 1. to make rational; make conform to reason 2. to explain or interpret on rational grounds 3. Chiefly Brit. to apply modern methods of efficiency to (an industry, agriculture, etc.) 4. Math. to… …   English World dictionary

  • Rationalize — Ra tion*al*ize (r[a^]sh [u^]n*al*[imac]z), v. t. 1. To make rational; also, to convert to rationalism. [1913 Webster] 2. To interpret in the manner of a rationalist. [1913 Webster] 3. To form a rational conception of. [1913 Webster] 4. (Alg.) To… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Rationalize — Ra tion*al*ize, v. i. To use, and rely on, reason in forming a theory, belief, etc., especially in matters of religion: to accord with the principles of rationalism. [1913 Webster] Theodore . . . is justly considered the chief rationalizing… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rationalize — I verb account for, adduce, analyze, cogitate, construe, excogitate, excuse, explain, explain away, justify, make acceptable, make allowances, make excuses, reason, reconcile, reflect, theorize, think, think logically, vindicate II index comment …   Law dictionary

  • rationalize — (v.) 1767, to explain, to make reasonable, from RATIONAL (Cf. rational) + IZE (Cf. ize). In the psychological sense of to give an explanation that conceals true motives it dates from 1922. Related: Rationalized; rationalizing …   Etymology dictionary

  • rationalize — (Amer.) ra·tion·al·ize || ræʃnÉ™laɪz v. invent possible reasons for an action which are not the true reasons; make something more logical, interpret something rationally; make a company more effective by joining or stopping certain… …   English contemporary dictionary

  • rationalize — *explain, account, justify …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • rationalize — [v] make excuse; justify account for, apply logic, cop a plea*, cop out*, deliberate, elucidate, excise, excuse, explain away, extenuate, give alibi*, intellectualize, justify, make allowance, reason, reason out, reconcile, resolve, think, think… …   New thesaurus

  • rationalize — (also rationalise) ► VERB 1) attempt to justify (an action or attitude) with logical reasoning. 2) reorganize (a process or system) in such a way as to make it more logical and consistent. 3) make (a company or industry) more efficient by… …   English terms dictionary

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