- to make plain or clear; render understandable or intelligible: to explain an obscure point.
- to make known in detail: to explain how to do something.
- to assign a meaning to; interpret: How can you explain such a silly remark?
- to make clear the cause or reason of; account for: I cannot explain his strange behavior.
- to give an explanation.
- explain away,
- to diminish or nullify the significance of by explanation: He couldn't explain away his absence from home at the time the robbery was committed.
- to dispel (doubts, difficulties, etc.) by explanation: She explained away the child's fears.
Origin of explain
Examples from the Web for explainable
Just why this exception should occur is not explainable by any accepted rule.Flying Machines
W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell
I can't say that it was deserved, but anyhow it was explainable.L'Assommoir
Edwin Smith having been proved to be Edgar Farmer, everything was explainable.Mary-'Gusta
Joseph C. Lincoln
As regards a ballet, it is difficult to say what is not explainable by pantomime.Diary of a Pilgrimage
Jerome K. Jerome
This is explainable by the nature of the country it traverses.
- (when tr, may take a clause as object) to make (something) comprehensible, esp by giving a clear and detailed account of the relevant structure, operation, surrounding circumstances, etc
- (tr) to justify or attempt to justify (oneself) by giving reasons for one's actions or words
Word Origin and History for explainable
early 15c., from Latin explanare "to make level, smooth out;" also "to explain, make clear" (see explanation).
Originally explane, spelling altered by influence of plain. Also see plane (v.2). In 17c., occasionally used more literally, of the unfolding of material things: Evelyn has buds that "explain into leaves" ["Sylva, or, A discourse of forest-trees, and the propagation of timber in His Majesties dominions," 1664]. Related: Explained; explaining; explains.