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Clarify what one has said or done, as in If you have a few minutes, I'll try to explain myself. [First half of 1600s]
Demand or give an explanation or excuse for something wrong one has done. For example, You're three hours late—can you explain yourself?
THINGAMABOB OR THINGUMMY: CAN YOU DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE US AND UK TERMS IN THIS QUIZ?
Do you know the difference between everyday US and UK terminology? Test yourself with this quiz on words that differ across the Atlantic.
Question 1 of 7
In the UK, COTTON CANDY is more commonly known as…
Words nearby explain oneself
expiry, expiscate, explain, explain away, explainer, explain oneself, explanate, explanation, explanatory, explant, explement
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.