(tr, adverb) to offer excuses or reasons for (bad conduct, mistakes, etc)
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
How to use explain away in a sentence
Obama already has had to explain away comments linking the Islamic State to a junior varsity team.
So Eugene already had a leg up—an interlocutor could explain away any failed communication.The AI That Wasn’t: Why ‘Eugene Goostman’ Didn’t Pass the Turing Test | Elizabeth Lopatto | June 10, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
First, the Texas governor will have to explain away the manifold gaffes and failures from his last presidential campaign.Can Rick Perry Get A Second Chance With GOP Voters In 2016 | Myra Adams | March 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Some court watchers believe Arias had no choice but to roll the dice with the jury and attempt to explain away her lies.
At some point, you have to have enough confidence in yourself as a pol to explain away a few votes.
The adherents of the old theology made strenuous efforts to explain away this unwelcome circumstance.Man And His Ancestor | Charles Morris
I have endeavoured to explain away the strange orthography, and I have conjecturally supplied the last line.
First, the Eleate states the opinion which perplexes him, and which he is anxious either to refute or to explain away.
Christians like Dr. Abbott explain away the Resurrection as no physical fact, but a spiritual conception.Flowers of Freethought | George W. Foote
Holland, in trying to explain away the inconsistencies of this fabrication, repeatedly blunders.Abraham Lincoln: Was He A Christian? | John B. Remsburg
Other Idioms and Phrases with explain away
Dismiss or minimize the importance of something, especially something detrimental. For example, “His words were taken down, and though he tried to explain them away, he was sent to the Tower” (Thomas Macaulay, The History of England, 1855). [c. 1700]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.