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verb (used with object), clar·i·fied, clar·i·fy·ing.
  1. to make (an idea, statement, etc.) clear or intelligible; to free from ambiguity.
  2. to remove solid matter from (a liquid); to make into a clear or pellucid liquid.
  3. to free (the mind, intelligence, etc.) from confusion; revive: The short nap clarified his thoughts.
verb (used without object), clar·i·fied, clar·i·fy·ing.
  1. to become clear, pure, or intelligible: The political situation clarified.

Origin of clarify

1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French clarifier < Late Latin clārificāre, equivalent to Latin clār(us) clear + -ificāre -ify
Related formsclar·i·fi·ca·tion, nounclar·i·fi·er, nounnon·clar·i·fi·ca·tion, nounnon·clar·i·fied, adjectiveun·clar·i·fied, adjectiveun·clar·i·fy·ing, adjective

Synonyms for clarify

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for clarification


verb -fies, -fying or -fied
  1. to make or become clear or easy to understand
  2. to make or become free of impurities
  3. to make (fat, butter, etc) clear by heating, etc, or (of fat, etc) to become clear as a result of such a process
Derived Formsclarification, nounclarifier, noun

Word Origin for clarify

C14: from Old French clarifier, from Late Latin clārificāre, from Latin clārus clear + facere to make
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

Word Origin and History for clarification

1610s, "act of clearing or refining" (especially of liquid substances), from French clarification, from Late Latin clarificationem (nominative clarificatio), noun of action from past participle stem of clarificare (see clarify). The meaning "statement revising or expanding an earlier statement but stopping short of a correction" is attested by 1969, originally in newspapers.



early 14c., "make illustrious, make known," from Old French clarifiier "clarify, make clear, explain" (12c.), from Late Latin clarificare "to make clear," also "to glorify," from Latin clarificus "brilliant," from clarus "clear, distinct" (see clear (adj.)) + root of facere "to make, do" (see factitious).

Meaning "make clear, purify" is from early 15c. in English; intransitive sense of "grow or become clear" is from 1590s. Figurative sense of "to free from obscurity" is from 1823. Related: Clarified; clarifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper