rhyme or reason

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Attributed to the poet Edmund Spenser in a conversation with Queen Elizabeth I [1]. Translation from Middle French n'y avoir ryme ne raison (Eustache Deschamps).


rhyme or reason (uncountable)

  1. (idiomatic) Logic; common sense.
    Prices vary considerably from one town to another with no apparent rhyme or reason.
    He would often fly into an unexpected rage without rhyme or reason.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Almost always used in a negative form, particularly with no and without.


  1. ^ Wikipedia page for Edmund Spenser, Rhyme and reason topic