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


serving to explain: an explanatory footnote.

Nearby words

  1. explain,
  2. explain away,
  3. explain oneself,
  4. explanate,
  5. explanation,
  6. explant,
  7. explement,
  8. explemental,
  9. explementary,
  10. explementary angle

Sometimes ex·plan·a·tive [ik-splan-uh-tiv] /ɪkˈsplæn ə tɪv/.

Origin of explanatory

From the Late Latin word explānātōrius, dating back to 1610–20. See explain, -tory1

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for explanatory

British Dictionary definitions for explanatory




serving or intended to serve as an explanation
Derived Formsexplanatorily, adverb

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 explanatory



1610s, from or modeled on Late Latin explanatorius "having to do with an explanation," from Latin explanat-, past participle stem of explanare (see explanation).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper