without rhyme or reason


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without rhyme or reason

Cliché without purpose, order, or reason. (See variations in the examples. Fixed order.) The teacher said my report was disorganized. My paragraphs seemed to be without rhyme or reason. Everything you do seems to be without rhyme or reason.
See also: reason, rhyme, without

neither rhyme nor reason

No sense whatever. This term dates from the fifteenth century, when an unknown French writer wrote, En toy ne Ryme ne Raison (“In you neither rhyme nor reason,” Maistre Pierre Pathelin, ca. 1475). Sir Thomas More is credited with the following remark made to a friend who had put into verse a mediocre book: “Yea, marry, now it is somewhat, for now it is rhyme; whereas before it was neither rhyme nor reason.” The term made it into John Ray’s proverb collection of 1678 and is by no means obsolete.
See also: neither, nor, reason, rhyme
References in periodicals archive ?
Yet on a daily basis, it's mangled without rhyme or reason.
A pile-up of 58 cars - supposedly the biggest ever movie crash - occurs without rhyme or reason and doesn't merit just stunned silence.