Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

explanation

[ek-spluh-ney-shuhn]
See more synonyms for explanation on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. the act or process of explaining.
  2. something that explains; a statement made to clarify something and make it understandable; exposition: an explanation of a poem.
  3. a meaning or interpretation: to find an explanation for a mystery.
  4. a mutual declaration of the meaning of words spoken, actions, motives, etc., with a view to adjusting a misunderstanding or reconciling differences: After a long and emotional explanation they were friends again.
Show More

Origin of explanation

1350–1400; Middle English explanacioun < Latin explānātiōn- (stem of explānātiō), equivalent to explānāt(us) (see explanate) + -iōn- -ion
Related formso·ver·ex·pla·na·tion, nounpre·ex·pla·na·tion, nounre·ex·pla·na·tion, noun

Synonyms

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

commentinterpretationconfessionevidencemotivesenseinformationstorynotestatementanswercommentarycausejustificationdescriptionexcusemeaningreportdefinitionaccount

Examples from the Web for explanation

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He started at the words, and looked eagerly in her face for an explanation.

    Malbone

    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • There could probably be no concealment, certainly no explanation.

    Malbone

    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Harry turned to Philip and spoke to him, shouting in his ear the explanation.

    Malbone

    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • "I can't tell you what I mean," he was saying in explanation.

  • There must have been a sound, and he glanced over to the trapper for an explanation.


British Dictionary definitions for explanation

explanation

noun
  1. the act or process of explaining
  2. a statement or occurrence that explains
  3. a clarification of disputed terms or points; reconciliation
Show More
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 explanation

n.

late 14c., from Latin explanationem (nominative explanatio), noun of action from past participle stem of explanare "to make plain or clear, explain," literally "make level, flatten," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + planus "flat" (see plane (n.1)).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper