Definition of Explain

1. Verb. Make plain and comprehensible. "Sam and Sue explain the movie "; "He explained the laws of physics to his students"

Exact synonyms: Explicate
Generic synonyms: Inform
Specialized synonyms: Interpret, Rede, Account For, Naturalize, Clarify, Clear Up, Elucidate, Comment
Derivative terms: Explanation, Explanatory, Explication, Explication

2. Verb. Define. "They explain that there was a traffic accident "; "The committee explained their plan for fund-raising to the Dean"
Generic synonyms: Say, State, Tell
Derivative terms: Explanation, Explanatory

3. Verb. Serve as a reason or cause or justification of. "Her recent divorce may explain her reluctance to date again"
Exact synonyms: Excuse
Specialized synonyms: Alibi
Generic synonyms: Justify, Vindicate
Derivative terms: Excuse, Explanation

Definition of Explain

1. v. t. To flatten; to spread out; to unfold; to expand.

2. v. i. To give an explanation.

Definition of Explain

1. Verb. To give a sufficiently detailed report about ''(a)'' the reason for something, about why something happened, about a causal chain of events; about ''(b)'' how something works, about how elements in a system interact; about ''(c)'' how to do something, about the steps which need to be accomplished in order to accomplish a certain goal. ¹

2. Verb. To give a valid excuse for some past behavior. ¹

3. Verb. (obsolete) To make flat, smooth out. ¹

4. Verb. (obsolete) To unfold or make visible. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Explain

1. to make plain or understandable [v -ED, -ING, -S]

Medical Definition of Explain

1. 1. To flatten; to spread out; to unfold; to expand. "The horse-chestnut is . . . Ready to explain its leaf." (Evelyn) 2. To make plain, manifest, or intelligible; to clear of obscurity; to expound; to unfold and illustrate the meaning of; as, to explain a chapter of the Bible. "Commentators to explain the difficult passages to you." (Gay) To explain away, to get rid of by explanation. "Those explain the meaning quite "away." Synonym: To expound, interpret, elucidate, clear up. Origin: L. Explandare to flatten, spread out, explain; ex out+plandare to make level or plain, planus plain: cf. OF. Esplaner, explaner. See Plain, and cf. Esplanade. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Lexicographical Neighbors of Explain

expired gas
explain (current term)
explain away
explained away
explaining away
explains away

Literary usage of Explain

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Bulletin by Federal Board for Vocational Education, United States (1917)
"explain how much effect air pressure has on the ability of a spark to jump a ... explain how a centrifugal governor and a clutch may bo used to regulate the ..."

2. Science by American Association for the Advancement of Science (1897)
"When he seeks to explain the co-ordinated life of plants in this way does he also remember the protoplasmic continuum, and when he would explain by internal ..."

3. Bulletin by United States (1918)
"ELEMENTARY LESSON'S. LESSON I. Exercise 1.—explain T, M, O, on the blackboard and on the buzzer. ... Exercise 4-—explain A, U, V, on blackboard and buzzer. ..."

4. The Republic of Plato by Plato (1888)
"Be so good as to explain it to me more at length. I am fully aware of it. But whenever the same person looks at objects on which the sun is shining, ..."

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