View synonyms for explanatory


[ ik-splan-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee ]


  1. serving to explain:

    an explanatory footnote.


/ ɪkˈsplænətərɪ; -trɪ /


  1. serving or intended to serve as an explanation
“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

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Derived Forms

  • exˈplanatorily, adverb
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Other Words From

  • ex·plana·tori·ly ex·plana·tive·ly adverb
  • nonex·plana·tive adjective
  • nonex·plana·tory adjective
  • preex·plana·tory adjective
  • unex·plana·tory adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of explanatory1

From the Late Latin word explānātōrius, dating back to 1610–20. See explain, -tory 1
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Example Sentences

The concept of a weighted blanket is pretty self-explanatory.

The weather and calendar widgets are mostly self-explanatory, offering useful information at a glance.

From Fortune

Both pages in this case had good heading use, although it could be argued that the headings are more explanatory and easy to skim on the post that did well.

America is enduring roughly a Pearl Harbor’s worth of death per day, minus the explanatory power of a military attack from the sky.

The first and last ones are sort of self explanatory—active apps and sites currently have access to your data, while revoked ones used to be able to access your data but can’t anymore.

For centuries scientists included God as a part of their explanatory package.

Then he integrated his findings into broader theories with deep explanatory power.

This means that the camera has to be static and I have to include some explanatory inter-titles.

I went on to argue that the explanatory deficiencies of ID are overwhelming, extending far beyond bad and sinister design.

One of the more recent ones, for example, is titled “God Hates Malaysia,” and is pretty self-explanatory.

It is perhaps explanatory of the way things went for Sara Lee from that time on that he quite forgot his newspapers.

The critical and explanatory notes which accompanied it gave the book a high value.

This participial construction is frequent in Milton as in Latin: it is equivalent to an explanatory clause.

Many explanatory remarks are inserted to elucidate the story.

After a brief explanatory conference, the minister thoughtfully went his way.