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See more synonyms for explicate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), ex·pli·cat·ed, ex·pli·cat·ing.
  1. to make plain or clear; explain; interpret.
  2. to develop (a principle, theory, etc.).
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Origin of explicate

1525–35; < Latin explicātus unfolded, set forth, past participle of explicāre, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + plicāre to fold; see -ate1
Related formsex·pli·ca·tor, nounre·ex·pli·cate, verb (used with object), re·ex·pli·cat·ed, re·ex·pli·cat·ing.un·ex·pli·cat·ed, adjectivewell-ex·pli·cat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for explicate

expound, elucidate, amplify, untangle, develop, dilate, expatiate, explain, unfold, demonstrate, construe, interpret, illustrate, enucleate

Examples from the Web for explicate

Historical Examples of explicate

  • This battle of Girondins and Mountain let no man ask history to explicate.

    The World's Greatest Books, Vol XII.

    Arthur Mee

  • But Marie say there is the miss understand in our letters she cannot explicate.

    Deer Godchild

    Marguerite Bernard and Edith Serrell

  • Whether, if so, this will not explicate the Phnomena of the Clouds.


    Robert Hooke

  • We have merely to explicate the idea of intelligent spirit possessing being in its plenitude.

  • Science takes as its province mechanical causes, and leaves formal and final causes to the philosopher to explicate.

British Dictionary definitions for explicate


verb (tr) formal
  1. to make clear or explicit; explain
  2. to formulate or develop (a theory, hypothesis, etc)
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Derived Formsexplicative (ɪkˈsplɪkətɪv) or explicatory (ɪkˈsplɪkətərɪ, -trɪ), adjectiveexplicator, noun

Word Origin for explicate

C16: from Latin explicāre to unfold, from plicāre to fold
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 explicate


1530s, from Latin explicatus, past participle of explicare "unfold, unravel, explain" (see explicit).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper