Definition for REAS-ON

REAS-ON, n. [re'zn; Ir. reasun; W. rheswm; Arm. resoun; Fr. raison; Sp. razon; Port. razam; It. ragione; L. ratio; Russ. razum; Goth. rathyo, an account, number, ratio; rathyan, to number; garathyan, to number or count; rodyan, to speak; D. rede, speech; reden, reason, argument; redenkunst, rhetoric; G. rede, reden; Sax. ræd, ræda, speech, reason; ræswian, to reason. We find united the Sax. ræd, speech, rædan, redan, to read, the Gr. ῥεω, to say or speak, whence rhetoric, and the L. ratio, which is from ratus, and which proves reor to be contracted from redo, redor, and all unite with rod, L. radius, &c. Primarily, reason is that which is uttered. See Read. So Gr. λογος, from λεγω.]

  1. That which is thought or which is alledged in words, as the ground or cause of opinion, conclusion or determination. I have reasons which I may choose not to disclose. You ask me my reasons. I freely give my reasons. The judge assigns good reasons for his opinions, reasons which justify his decision. Hence in general,
  2. The cause, ground, principle or motive of any thing said or done; that which supports or justifies a determination, plan or measure. Virtue and vice are not arbitrary things; but there is a natural and eternal reason for that goodness and virtue, and against vice and wickedness. – 1 Pet iii. Tillotson.
  3. Efficient cause. He is detained by reason of sickness. Spain is thin sown of people, partly by reason of its sterility of soil. – Bacon. The reason of the motion of the balance in a wheel-watch is by motion of the next wheel. – Hale.
  4. Final cause. Reason, in the English language, is sometimes taken for true and clear principles; sometimes for clear and fair deductions; sometimes for the cause, particularly the final cause. – Locke.
  5. A faculty of the mind by which it distinguishes truth from falsehood, and good from evil, and which enables the possessor to deduce inferences from facts or from propositions. – Encyc. Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul, / Reason's comparing balance rules the whole. / That sees immediate good by present sense, / Reason the future and the consequence. – Pope. Reason is the director of man's will. – Hooker.
  6. Ratiocination; the exercise of reason. But when by reason she the truth has found. Davies.
  7. Right; justice; that which is dictated or supported by is reason. Every man claims to have reason on his side. I was promised on a time / To have reason for my rhyme. – Spenser.
  8. Reasonable claim; justice. God brings good out of evil, and therefore it were but reason we should trust God to govern his own world. – Taylor.
  9. Rationale; just account. This reason did the ancient fathers render, why the church was called Catholic. – Pearson. [See No. 1 and 2.]
  10. Moderation; moderate demands; claims which reason and justice admit or prescribe. The most probable way of bringing France to reason, would be by the making an attempt on the Spanish West Indies. – Addison. In reason, in all reason, in justice; with rational ground. When any thing is proved by as good arguments as a thing of that kind is capable of, we ought not in reason to doubt its existence. – Tillotson.

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