reasoning

Reasoning is a logical, thoughtful way of thinking. When your teacher explains the reasoning behind his classroom rules, he makes it clear exactly why and how he came up with them.

Voters often want to understand the reasoning behind certain laws, and toddlers almost always want to know the reasoning behind rules about bedtime and wearing warm clothes on cold days. You can also use reasoning as an adjective, to describe someone who can think logically. A reasoning adult can make decisions for herself. The word comes from reason, which is rooted in the Old French raisoner, "discuss or argue," and the Late Latin rationare, "to discourse."

Definitions of reasoning
1

n thinking that is coherent and logical

Synonyms:
abstract thought, logical thinking
Types:
show 31 types...
hide 31 types...
analysis, analytic thinking
the abstract separation of a whole into its constituent parts in order to study the parts and their relations
argument, argumentation, line, line of reasoning, logical argument
a course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating a truth or falsehood; the methodical process of logical reasoning
conjecture
reasoning that involves the formation of conclusions from incomplete evidence
deduction, deductive reasoning, synthesis
reasoning from the general to the particular (or from cause to effect)
illation, inference
the reasoning involved in drawing a conclusion or making a logical judgment on the basis of circumstantial evidence and prior conclusions rather than on the basis of direct observation
anticipation, prediction, prevision
the act of predicting (as by reasoning about the future)
ratiocination
logical and methodical reasoning
reasoning backward, regress
the reasoning involved when you assume the conclusion is true and reason backward to the evidence
synthesis, synthetic thinking
the combination of ideas into a complex whole
line of inquiry, line of questioning
an ordering of questions so as to develop a particular argument
projection
a prediction made by extrapolating from past observations
prognostication, prophecy, vaticination
knowledge of the future (usually said to be obtained from a divine source)
adumbration, foreshadowing, prefiguration
the act of providing vague advance indications; representing beforehand
syllogism
deductive reasoning in which a conclusion is derived from two premises
theorisation, theorization
the production or use of theories
supposal, supposition
the cognitive process of supposing
analogy
an inference that if things agree in some respects they probably agree in others
corollary
(logic) an inference that follows directly from the proof of another proposition
derivation
a line of reasoning that shows how a conclusion follows logically from accepted propositions
deduction, entailment, implication
something that is inferred (deduced or entailed or implied)
extrapolation
an inference about the future (or about some hypothetical situation) based on known facts and observations
presumption
(law) an inference of the truth of a fact from other facts proved or admitted or judicially noticed
breakdown, partitioning
an analysis into mutually exclusive categories
cost-benefit analysis
an analysis of the cost effectiveness of different alternatives in order to see whether the benefits outweigh the costs
dissection
a minute and critical analysis
elimination, reasoning by elimination
analysis of a problem into alternative possibilities followed by the systematic rejection of unacceptable alternatives
reductionism
the analysis of complex things into simpler constituents
systems analysis
analysis of all aspects of a project along with ways to collect information about the operation of its parts
trend analysis
analysis of changes over time
casuistry
argumentation that is specious or excessively subtle and intended to be misleading
policy
a line of argument rationalizing the course of action of a government
Type of:
cerebration, intellection, mentation, thinking, thought, thought process
the process of using your mind to consider something carefully

adj endowed with the capacity to reason

Synonyms:
intelligent, thinking
rational
consistent with or based on or using reason

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a life-long learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.