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[ek-spluh-ney-shuh n] /ˌɛk spləˈneɪ ʃən/
the act or process of explaining.
something that explains; a statement made to clarify something and make it understandable; exposition:
an explanation of a poem.
a meaning or interpretation:
to find an explanation for a mystery.
a mutual declaration of the meaning of words spoken, actions, motives, etc., with a view to adjusting a misunderstanding or reconciling differences:
After a long and emotional explanation they were friends again.
Origin of explanation
1350-1400; Middle English explanacioun < Latin explānātiōn- (stem of explānātiō), equivalent to explānāt(us) (see explanate) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
overexplanation, noun
preexplanation, noun
reexplanation, noun
1. elucidation, explication, exposition, interpretation, description. 3. solution, key, answer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for explanation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He started at the words, and looked eagerly in her face for an explanation.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • There could probably be no concealment, certainly no explanation.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • Harry turned to Philip and spoke to him, shouting in his ear the explanation.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • "I can't tell you what I mean," he was saying in explanation.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • There must have been a sound, and he glanced over to the trapper for an explanation.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
British Dictionary definitions for explanation


the act or process of explaining
a statement or occurrence that explains
a clarification of disputed terms or points; reconciliation
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for explanation

late 14c., from Latin explanationem (nominative explanatio), noun of action from past participle stem of explanare "to make plain or clear, explain," literally "make level, flatten," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + planus "flat" (see plane (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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