rationalized; rationalizing; rationalizes

Rationalize means to justify by developing a rationale, or a set of reasons for something. You could rationalize cutting school, saying your classes are boring, but you are still doing what you shouldn't be doing.

Rationalize can also mean reorganizing along rational lines––a watchmaker's shop might be set up in a totally illogical way that made sense only to the old owner, whose children will rationalize the shop's organization once the old man dies.

Definitions of rationalize
  1. verb
    think rationally; employ logic or reason
    “When one wonders why one is doing certain things, one should rationalize
    synonyms: rationalise
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    type of:
    cerebrate, cogitate, think
    use or exercise the mind or one's power of reason in order to make inferences, decisions, or arrive at a solution or judgments
  2. verb
    defend, explain, clear away, or make excuses for by reasoning
    rationalize the child's seemingly crazy behavior”
    “he rationalized his lack of success”
    synonyms: apologise, apologize, excuse, justify, rationalise
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    color, colour, gloss
    give a deceptive explanation or excuse for
    offer as an excuse or plea
    extenuate, mitigate, palliate
    lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of
    type of:
    defend, fend for, support
    argue or speak in defense of
  3. verb
    structure and run according to rational or scientific principles in order to achieve desired results
    “We rationalized the factory's production and raised profits”
    synonyms: rationalise
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    type of:
    organise, organize
    cause to be structured or ordered or operating according to some principle or idea
  4. verb
    weed out unwanted or unnecessary things
    synonyms: cut, prune, rationalise
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    type of:
    do away with, eliminate, extinguish, get rid of
    terminate, end, or take out
  5. verb
    remove irrational quantities from
    “This function can be rationalized
    synonyms: rationalise
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    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘rationalize'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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