verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- to diminish or nullify the significance of by explanation: He couldn't explain away his absence from home at the time the robbery was committed.
- to dispel (doubts, difficulties, etc.) by explanation: She explained away the child's fears.
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Origin of explain
synonym study for explain
OTHER WORDS FROM explain
Words nearby explain
British Dictionary definitions for explain away (1 of 2)
British Dictionary definitions for explain away (2 of 2)
Derived forms of explainexplainable, adjectiveexplainer, noun
Word Origin for explain
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]