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rationale (n.)

1650s, "exposition of principles," from Late Latin rationale, noun use of neuter of Latin rationalis "of reason" (see rational). Hence, "fundamental reason, the rational basis or motive of anything" (1680s).

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Definitions of rationale from WordNet

rationale (n.)
(law) an explanation of the fundamental reasons (especially an explanation of the working of some device in terms of laws of nature);
the rationale for capital punishment
Synonyms: principle
From wordnet.princeton.edu