rhyme or reason

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Alternative forms[edit]


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

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rhyme or reason (uncountable)

  1. (idiomatic, chiefly in the negative) 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, adverbially, without. May also occur as rhyme nor reason, e.g. after neither.



Further reading[edit]