See more synonyms for elucidate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), e·lu·ci·dat·ed, e·lu·ci·dat·ing.
  1. to make lucid or clear; throw light upon; explain: an explanation that elucidated his recent strange behavior.
verb (used without object), e·lu·ci·dat·ed, e·lu·ci·dat·ing.
  1. to provide clarification; explain.

Origin of elucidate

1560–70; < Late Latin ēlūcidātus (past participle of ēlūcidāre) enlightened, equivalent to ē- e-1 + lūcid(us) lucid + -ātus -ate1
Related formse·lu·ci·da·tion, noune·lu·ci·da·tive, adjectivee·lu·ci·da·tor, nounnon·e·lu·ci·dat·ing, adjectivenon·e·lu·ci·da·tion, nounnon·e·lu·ci·da·tive, adjectiveun·e·lu·ci·dat·ed, adjectiveun·e·lu·ci·dat·ing, adjectiveun·e·lu·ci·da·tive, adjective

Synonym study

See explain.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for elucidating

Contemporary Examples of elucidating

Historical Examples of elucidating

  • Instead of elucidating the mystery, this knowledge only rendered it more inexplicable.

    The Ocean Waifs

    Mayne Reid

  • Bacteriologist, perform your share in elucidating this difficulty.

  • "The Niqoyastcdje—'Place-where-they-came-up,'" said Brouillard, elucidating for her.

  • Is the preacher emphasizing and elucidating the five points?

    From the Easy Chair, series 3

    George William Curtis

  • So elucidating was the moon's light that it left no room for confusion or doubt.

    The Lee Shore

    Rose Macaulay

British Dictionary definitions for elucidating


  1. to make clear (something obscure or difficult); clarify
Derived Formselucidation, nounelucidative or elucidatory, adjectiveelucidator, noun

Word Origin for elucidate

C16: from Late Latin ēlūcidāre to enlighten; see lucid
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 elucidating



1560s, perhaps via Middle French élucider (15c.) or directly from Late Latin elucidatus, past participle of elucidare "make clear," from ex- "out, away" (see ex-) + lucidus "clear" (see lucid). Related: Elucidated; elucidates; elucidating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper