The world's premier FREE educational website for learners + teachers of English

raison d'être

This page is about the idiom raison d'être



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
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

Contributor: Matt Errey