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See also: raison d'etre
Borrowed from French raison d'être (literally “reason to be”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌɹeɪzɒ̃ ˈdɛtɹə/, /ˌɹɛzɒ̃ ˈdɛtɹə/
Audio (UK) (file)
raison d'être (plural raisons d'être or raison d'être or raison d'êtres)
- Reason for being. The claimed reason for the existence of something or someone; the sole or ultimate purpose of something or someone.
- Surfing became his raison d’être.
- 1966, Maurice Godelier, Rationality and irrationality in economics, London, published by Francois Maspero, pg. 317 (quoted in Michael W. Coy, "Tugen Monopoly: Capitalism and Conflict in the Mountains of Kenya," Anthropology & Humanism Quarterly, Vol. 13, No. 2, 1988, pg. 41, Full article - .pdf):
- These raison d'etre and this evolution are not merely the achievement of men's conscious activity but are the unintentional results of their social activity.
- 1968, Joan Didion, “Notes from a Native Daughter”, in Slouching Towards Bethlehem:
- It [Sacramento] is a town in which defense industry and its absentee owners are suddenly the most important facts; a town which has never had more people or more money, but has lost its raison d'être.
- 1970, Alvin Toffler, Future Shock: Bantam Books, page 174:
- One after another, styles supplant one another. The most enduring twentieth-century school, Abstract Expressionism, held sway for at most twenty years, from 1940 to 1960, then to be followed by a wild succession- "Pop" lasting perhaps five years, "Op" managing to grip the public's attention for two or three years, then the emergence, approximately enough, of 'Kinetic Art' whose very raison d’être is transience.
- 2003, Seta Fumihiko, Kim Chang-Gi, Lai Shen-Chiang and Onishi Takashi, Abstract for "A Study on the Transition of National Development Strategies in Korea, Taiwan and Japan, Characterized by Developmentalism" (「開発主義に特徴付けられた 日本・台湾・韓国の国土開発戦略の変遷についての一考察」), full paper is pp. 52-61 of "Proceedings", International Symposium on City Planning 2003, The City Planning Institute of Japan, Sapporo, Japan, Abstract:
- National development plans and programs are in particular under harsh discussions and criticism including these raison d'etre in some countries, for these plans and programs have supported construction of rather inefficient infrastructure in less-development area.
- 2007, Chambi Chachage, "Bringing African Studies Back to Africa: Beyond the ‘African-Africanist’ Divides," paper prepared for the 2nd AEGIS Conference on African Studies (ECAS) at the African Studies Centre, Leiden, the Netherlands, 11-14th July, 2007 (Abstract, Full paper - .doc):
- With hindsight knowledge, it is interesting to note that these three raison d’etre and their ramifications were situated in a broader context of contestations over the whole enterprise of knowledge production and consumption.
- 2021 December 29, Stephen Roberts, “Stories and facts behind railway plaques: Bournemouth (circa 1880)”, in RAIL, number 947, page 60:
- Of course, closure of the West station took away the hotel's raison d'être. In May 2012, the local newspaper reported that this historic hotel, by then rated the town's worst (exemplified by its final review: "Please avoid at all costs"), was to be converted into 31 first-time-buyer one-bedroom flats.
- As this is a foreign phrase, it is usually written in italics. However, some style guides such as that of the Chicago Manual of Style and The Economist assert that foreign words and phrases which have become familiar to English readers should not be italicized.
reason for being
- ^ The Concise Oxford English Dictionary [Eleventh Edition]
Borrowed from French raison d'être.
raison d'être f (uncountable)
raison d'être f (plural raisons d'être)
Unadapted borrowing from French raison d'être.
raison d'être f (plural raisons d'être)
- raison d'être (reason for existence)
- (somewhat formal) raison d'être
- Synonym: existensberättigande
- 2023 March 24, Jonathan Sindihebura, “Debby Friday: ”För mig är klubben också en kyrka” [Debby Friday: "For me, the club is also a church"]”, in Gaffa (magazine):
- "Som person är du väl inte bara en sak?", frågar Debby retoriskt. Hennes raison d'être verkar vara att svara nej på frågan i alla initiativ hon tar för sig.
- "As a person, you're not just a thing, are you?" Debby asks rhetorically. Her raison d'être seems to be to answer no to the question in all initiatives she undertakes.
- 2019 February 14, Sven Cavallin, “”En duktig sumprunkare är icke att förakta – och poliserna måste få göra vad de drömde om” ["A good corf-rockers is not to be despised - and the police must be allowed to do what they dreamed of"]”, in Dagens Juridik:
- Klart är nock att de flesta människor helt enkelt mår bra av att arbeta. Det ger på något sätt en mening åt tillvaron – ett raison d’être i jämmerdalen – och får en att stå ut med egna och andras eländen, varav man i rikt mått kan förses.
- What is clear is that most people simply feel good about working. It somehow gives meaning to existence - a raison d'être in the vale of tears - and makes one put up with one's own and others' miseries, of which one can be provided in ample measure.
- 1881, Ernst Lundquist, Agnes. Ett lefnadslopp, page 119:
- Tillsammans med honom, stödd af honom är hon en härlig uppenbarelse af det gudomliga själft, det ädla, det sköna, "das Ewig-Weibliche", som Goethe säger, utan honom vore hon endast en parasit, som upptoge utrymme för andra varelser med större raison d'être än hon.
- Together with him, supported by him, she is a glorious revelation of the divine itself, the noble, the beautiful, "das Ewig-Weibliche", as Goethe says, without him she would be only a parasite, taking up space for other beings of greater raison d'être than she.
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