You might be a procrastinator if one of your favorite words is later (it’s okay, we relate). Specifically, we mean the adverb, as in, Let’s make a decision later. Here, later means “at a time in the future,” or “afterward.” A strong synonym for later is the adverb subsequently. The key idea behind the word subsequently (and the adjective subsequent from which the adverb derives) is that of following or of a sequential order. Both the adverb and the adjective ultimately stem from the Latin verb sequī meaning “to follow.” The prefix sub- indicates proximity or nearness in time. These etymological tidbits shed light on the ways in which subsequently stands apart from later: while their dictionary definitions may be identical, subsequently is the better choice for indicating a relationship or interdependency between chronological events, as in, I visited the Museum of Natural History in New York and subsequently decided to become a paleontologist.
If your grocery list includes cheese and bread, it means that your (very sandwich-friendly) grocery list contains these items, likely among other items. Your list might also include pasta, lettuce, and orange juice. The synonym encompass means “to include comprehensively.” Paying special attention to that last part, “comprehensively,” let’s revisit the aforementioned grocery list: it would not make sense to say that your grocery list encompasses cheese and bread; rather, you might say that your list encompasses a wide range of primo ingredients for a full three-course meal. The use of this verb broadens the scope of your list, and suggests that you’ve included a generous sampling of ingredients to satisfy all your hungry guests, from aperitif to dessert.
The noun reason is used a few different ways. Sometimes it refers to a justification, as in, I dare you to give me one good reason for quitting school! Other times it refers to a cause or basis for some belief, action, fact, or event: The legislator said the reason for the new bill was to reinvigorate the local economy. The synonym rationale is closer to the latter, but it implies a more detailed exposition of thought or logic. When someone asks for a rationale, chances are that they aren’t expecting an excuse or justification. More likely, they hope to understand the thought process or the fundamental reasons that serve to account for something.