Contents

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From un- +‎ reason.

NounEdit

unreason (usually uncountable, plural unreasons)

  1. Lack of reason or rationality; unreasonableness; irrationality.
    • c. 1566, John Knox, The Historie of the Reformation of the Church of Scotland, Book I, London: 1644,[1]
      Another day the same Frier made another Sermon of the Abbot of Unreason, unto whom, and whose Laws, he compareth Prelats of that age; for they were subject to no Laws, no more than was the Abbot of Unreason.
    • 1820, Walter Scott, The Abbot, Chapter 14,[2]
      [] it was long ere these scandalous and immoral sports could be abrogated;—the rude multitude continued attached to their favourite pastimes, and, both in England and Scotland, the mitre of the Catholic—the rochet of the reformed bishop—and the cloak and band of the Calvinistic divine—were, in turn, compelled to give place to those jocular personages, the Pope of Fools, the Boy-Bishop, and the Abbot of Unreason.
    • 1864, James Russell Lowell, “Abraham Lincoln” in My Study Windows, London: Sampson Low, Marston, Low, and Searle, 4th edition, 1871, p. 120,[3]
      What is called the great popular heart was awakened, that indefinable something which may be, according to circumstances, the highest reason or the most brutish unreason.
    • 1937, Robert Byron, The Road to Oxiana, “Shiraz, 18 February,”[4]
      Of all the foreigners I have met in this country, diplomats, business men, and archaeologists of many nationalities and varying terms of residence, Christopher is the only one who likes its inhabitants, sympathizes with their nationalist growing-pains, and consistently upholds their virtues, sometimes to the point of unreason.
    • 1971, John T. Elson, “Doing the Thing You Do Best,” Time, 22 March, 1971,[5]
      Traditionally, black American dance students have been consistently steered away from classical ballet and toward the supposedly more “suitable” fields of modern, ethnic or Broadway-chorus dancing. The Harlem Dance Theater performances showed beyond doubt that the practice was based not on rhyme but on prejudiced unreason.
    • 2014, Garry Wills, “Obamacare: The Hate Can’t Be Cured,” New York Review of Books, 22 April, 2014,[6]
      The best preservative for unreason is to make a religion of it.
  2. Nonsense; folly; absurdity.

TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

unreason (third-person singular simple present unreasons, present participle unreasoning, simple past and past participle unreasoned)

  1. (transitive, rare) To prove to be unreasonable; disprove by argument. (Can we verify(+) this sense?)