Definition of rationalize verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    rationalize

     verb
    (British English also -ise)verb
    BrE BrE//ˈræʃnəlaɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈræʃnəlaɪz//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they rationalize
    BrE BrE//ˈræʃnəlaɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈræʃnəlaɪz//
     
    he / she / it rationalizes
    BrE BrE//ˈræʃnəlaɪzɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈræʃnəlaɪzɪz//
     
    past simple rationalized
    BrE BrE//ˈræʃnəlaɪzd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈræʃnəlaɪzd//
     
    past participle rationalized
    BrE BrE//ˈræʃnəlaɪzd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈræʃnəlaɪzd//
     
    -ing form rationalizing
    BrE BrE//ˈræʃnəlaɪzɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈræʃnəlaɪzɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] rationalize (something) to find or try to find a logical reason to explain why somebody thinks, behaves, etc. in a way that is difficult to understand an attempt to rationalize his violent behaviour
  2. 2[transitive, intransitive] rationalize (something) (British English) to make changes to a business, system, etc. in order to make it more efficient, especially by spending less money Twenty workers lost their jobs when the department was rationalized. Synonymscutslash cut something back scale something back rationalize downsizeThese words all mean to reduce the amount or size of something, especially of an amount of money or a business.cut to reduce something, especially an amount of money that is demanded, spent, earned, etc. or the size of a business:The President has promised to cut taxes significantly. Buyers will bargain hard to cut the cost of the house they want. His salary has been cut by ten per cent. Could you cut your essay from 5 000 to 3 000 words?slash [often passive] (rather informal) (often used in newspapers) to reduce something by a large amount:The workforce has been slashed by half.cut something back/​cut back on something to reduce something, especially an amount of money or business:We had to cut back production.scale something back (especially North American English or business) to reduce something, especially an amount of money or business:The IMF has scaled back its growth forecasts for the next decade.rationalize (British English, business) to make changes to a business or system, in order to make it more efficient, especially by spending less money.downsize (business) to make a company or an organization smaller by reducing the number of jobs in it, in order to reduce costs. Downsize is often used by people who want to avoid saying more obvious words like ‘dismiss’ or ‘make redundant’ because they sound too negative.Patterns to cut/​slash/​cut back on/​scale back/​rationalize spending/​production to cut/​slash/​cut back on jobs to cut/​slash/​downsize the workforce to cut/​slash/​rationalize the cost of something to cut/​slash prices/​taxes/​the budget to cut something/​slash something/​cut something back drastically
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: rationalize