When you steal from your friends but justify it based on the theory that they are spoiled and won't notice the money is gone, this is an example of a situation where you rationalize your behavior.
- to make rational; make conform to reason
- to explain or interpret on rational grounds
- Chiefly Brit. to apply modern methods of efficiency to (an industry, agriculture, etc.)
- Math. to remove the radical signs from (an expression) without changing the value
- Psychol. to devise superficially rational, or plausible, explanations or excuses for (one's acts, beliefs, desires, etc.), usually without being aware that these are not the real motives
- to think in a rational or rationalistic manner
- to rationalize one's acts, beliefs, etc.
verbra·tion·al·ized, ra·tion·al·iz·ing, ra·tion·al·iz·es
- To explain rationally: “Philosophy &ellipsis; is essentially the endeavor of the human mind to rationalize the universe” (Francis E. Abbot).
- a. To explain or justify (one's behavior) with incorrect reasons or excuses, often without conscious awareness: rationalized his poor academic performance by claiming the teacher was incompetent.b. To dismiss or minimize the significance of (something) by means of an explanation or excuse: “He could not rationalize the loss of some thirty thousand American lives in an unsuccessful war” (Robert Dallek).
- a. To make (a business or process, for example) more efficient, as by reducing costs or introducing modern methods.b. To terminate the employment of (workers) in an effort to improve efficiency.
- Mathematics To remove radicals, such as from a denominator, without changing the value of (an expression) or roots of (an equation).
- To think in a rational or rationalistic way.
- To rationalize one's behavior.
(third-person singular simple present rationalizes, present participle rationalizing, simple past and past participle rationalized)
- To make something rational or more rational.
- To justify an immoral act, or illogical behaviour. “The process of thought by which one justifies a discreditable act, and by which one offers to oneself and the world a better motive for one's action than the true motive"
- (mathematics) To remove radicals, without changing the value of an expression or the roots of an equation.
- To structure something along modern, efficient and systematic lines, or according to scientific principles.
rational +"Ž -ize