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1. Maths
a. not rational
b. (as noun)
2. Prosody in Greek or Latin verse
a. of or relating to a metrical irregularity, usually the occurrence of a long syllable instead of a short one
b. denoting a metrical foot where such an irregularity occurs



in the most general meaning, that which is beyond the bounds of reason; alogical or nonintellectual; incommensurable with rational thinking or even contradicting it. The irrational is generally contrasted with the rational. The irrational as something inaccessible to rational cognition and inexpressible in logical concepts is one of the basic reference points for a number of idealistic currents, jointly referred to as philosophical irrationalism (for example, intuitionism and voluntarism). In the religious world view the rational is viewed as prerational (spontaneous-chaotic, not shaped by the Logos), as distinguished from both the rational and suprarational (the mystical, given in revelation).

In the theory of knowledge of dialectical materialism the irrational is understood to be something not yet known but knowable in principle.

References in periodicals archive ?
He accused the HFEA of acting irrationally when it granted the licences because the proposed research lacked scientific merit and was "irrational and useless".
In the wake of the discovery, the shock prompted him to act irrationally after being faced with the "lovely" schoolgirl's "horrendous" injuries, he claims.
I was completely, irrationally nervous about playing a tune for him.
Macedonia spends energy very irrationally and wastefully.
Young men's behavior, irrationally at times, is not unique to any one group.
The government is on the back foot, as it woos investors in a bid to clarify the controversial black empowerment laws, but this is a pathetic attempt to hide the truth -- that it operates on the whims of one man who believes that the world is demonising him irrationally.
Why we took against each other so instantly, heartily and irrationally, I honestly cannot say.
Hindrance cases are primarily meant to ban fathers from using their money or property irrationally due to age, health or cognitive factors.
Setting out her proposals in the Lords, she said: "It is a Bill for every woman who ever felt her marriage ended unfairly, it is a Bill for every man who was left with the impression that he had been deprived irrationally of everything he had worked for.
The essays collected in this volume question the received wisdom that truants from schooling are acting irrationally and should be coerced into attending school from a variety of perspectives.
As Bob tries to return Brenda's Aladdin's Cave of stolen goods to their rightful owners, there's speculation that her brain tumour could be causing her to behave so irrationally.
Jane Ogden, a professor in health psychology at the University of Surrey who helped design the research, said that people were irrationally demonising carbohydrates.