[ih-lab-uh-rey-shuh n]


an act or instance of elaborating.
the state of being elaborated; elaborateness.
something that is elaborated.
Psychiatry. an unconscious process of expanding and embellishing a detail, especially while recalling and describing a representation in a dream so that latent content of the dream is brought into a logical and comprehensible order.

Origin of elaboration

1570–80; < Latin ēlabōrātiōn- (stem of ēlabōrātiō), equivalent to ēlabōrāt- (see elaborate) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsself-e·lab·o·ra·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for elaboration

amplification, comment, discussion, explanation

Examples from the Web for elaboration

Contemporary Examples of elaboration

Historical Examples of elaboration

  • The craving for excitement and for elaboration has ruined that blessing.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • He defined the nature and crime of treason with elaboration and circumlocution.

  • It was an elaboration of the theories contained in his earlier book.


    John Spargo

  • The system represents a series of compromises, not the elaboration of a theory.

  • A youth of this kind is raw material in its first stage of elaboration.

    Elsie Venner

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Word Origin and History for elaboration

1570s, in a physiological sense relating to tissue development, from Late Latin elaborationem (nominative elaboratio), noun of action from past participle stem of elaborare "work out, produce by labor," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + laborare "to labor" (see labor (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

elaboration in Medicine




The process of working out in detail by labor and study.
The mental process occurring partly during dreaming and partly during the recalling or telling of a dream, by means of which the latent content of the dream is brought into increasingly more coherent and logical order, resulting in the manifest content of the dream.
Related formse•labo•rate′ v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.