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The most important reason, the justification, or purpose for someone or something’s existence. What you live to do–or why you do (important) things. More colloquially, the “be-all and end-all”. 

From French: “reason for being”, which in turn comes from the Latin ratiō (reason) and esse (to be). First appears in English in a letter written in 1864 by John Stuart Mill: “Modes of speech which have a real raison d’être.” 

Still pronounced as in French: [rey-zohn de-truh] 

Compare mission, purpose, Ikaigi