raison d'être

FORMAL
This page is about the idiom raison d'être.

Meaning: Your raison d'être is your reason for living, or the most important thing in your life.

For example:

  • When he was young, Carl's raison d'être was enjoying life and exploring its possibilities. But after he got married and had kids, it was all about his family.

  • Barbara says her company's raison d'être has always had as much to do with serving the community as with generating profits.

Origin: Borrowed from French, in which it means "reason for being".

Quick Quiz:

My great aunt's raison d'être had been her work. For her,

a. work was a waste of time

b. work was everything

c. work was a just a way to make money

Idiom of the Day

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Contributor: Matt Errey