- to make plain or clear; render understandable or intelligible: to explain an obscure point.
- to make known in detail: to explain how to do something.
- to assign a meaning to; interpret: How can you explain such a silly remark?
- to make clear the cause or reason of; account for: I cannot explain his strange behavior.
- to give an explanation.
- explain away,
- 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.
Origin of explain
Examples from the Web for explained
To his critics, he explained—sometimes at painful length—his reasoning against it.Jeb Bush’s Unseen Anti-Gay Marriage Emails
January 9, 2015
“We look for the qualities that are evocative of V.S.O.P Privilege,” explained Hennessy Senior Vice President Rodney Williams.
He was courteous, explained the legitimate reason we were briefly pulled over, and then let us continue on our way.Obama Is Right on Race. The Media Is Wrong.
December 29, 2014
In a hot-button cover story interview with Vanity Fair, Lawrence explained it best.Butts, Brawls, and Bill Cosby: The Biggest Celebrity Scandals of 2014
December 27, 2014
“When I first met her I felt this tremendous surge of power,” he explained.Dungeons and Genital Clamps: Inside a Legendary BDSM Chateau
December 20, 2014
But that Hope loved him ardently there was no doubt, however it might be explained.
There was so much to tell, more than could ever be explained or justified.
When it is to be cooked in this way, prepare it in the manner just explained.Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 2
Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
"A kleptomaniac," Smithson explained, retaining his manner of mild insistence.
"He just stopped me to say it's been the best year he ever had," she explained, with ostentatious vanity.
- (when tr, may take a clause as object) to make (something) comprehensible, esp by giving a clear and detailed account of the relevant structure, operation, surrounding circumstances, etc
- (tr) to justify or attempt to justify (oneself) by giving reasons for one's actions or words
Word Origin and History for explained
early 15c., from Latin explanare "to make level, smooth out;" also "to explain, make clear" (see explanation).
Originally explane, spelling altered by influence of plain. Also see plane (v.2). In 17c., occasionally used more literally, of the unfolding of material things: Evelyn has buds that "explain into leaves" ["Sylva, or, A discourse of forest-trees, and the propagation of timber in His Majesties dominions," 1664]. Related: Explained; explaining; explains.