raison dêtre


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rai•son d'ê•tre

(ˈreɪ zoʊn ˈdɛ trə, ˈrɛz ɔ̃)

n., pl. rai•sons d'ê•tre (ˈreɪ zoʊnz ˈdɛ trə, ˈrɛz ɔ̃)
reason for existence.
[1865–70; < French]