• synonyms


See more synonyms for explicit on Thesaurus.com
  1. fully and clearly expressed or demonstrated; leaving nothing merely implied; unequivocal: explicit instructions; an explicit act of violence; explicit language.
  2. clearly developed or formulated: explicit knowledge; explicit belief.
  3. definite and unreserved in expression; outspoken: He was quite explicit as to what he expected us to do for him.
  4. described or shown in realistic detail: explicit sexual scenes.
  5. having sexual acts or nudity clearly depicted: explicit movies; explicit books.
  6. Mathematics. (of a function) having the dependent variable expressed directly in terms of the independent variables, as y = 3x + 4.Compare implicit(def 4).
Show More

Origin of explicit

1605–15; < Latin explicitus unfolded, set forth, variant past participle of explicāre. See explicate
Related formsex·plic·it·ly, adverbex·plic·it·ness, nouno·ver·ex·plic·it, adjectivequa·si-ex·plic·it, adjectivequa·si-ex·plic·it·ly, adverbsu·per·ex·plic·it, adjectivesu·per·ex·plic·it·ly, adverbun·ex·plic·it, adjectiveun·ex·plic·it·ly, adverb
Can be confusedexplicit implicit implied


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for explicitly

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for explicitly


  1. precisely and clearly expressed, leaving nothing to implication; fully statedexplicit instructions
  2. graphically detailed, leaving little to the imaginationsexually explicit scenes
  3. openly expressed without reservations; unreserved
  4. maths (of a function) having an equation of the form y=f (x), in which y is expressed directly in terms of x, as in y=x 4 + x + zCompare implicit (def. 4)
Show More
Derived Formsexplicitly, adverbexplicitness, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin explicitus unfolded, from explicāre; see explicate


  1. the end; an indication, used esp by medieval scribes, of the end of a book, part of a manuscript, etc
Show More

Word Origin

Late Latin, probably short for explicitus est liber the book is unfolded (or complete); shortened by analogy with incipit
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 explicitly


1630s, from explicit + -ly (2). Opposed to implicitly.

Show More



c.1600, from French explicite, from Latin explicitus "unobstructed," variant past participle of explicare "unfold, unravel, explain," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + plicare "to fold" (see ply (v.1)).

"Explicitus" was written at the end of medieval books, originally short for explicitus est liber "the book is unrolled." As a euphemism for "pornographic" it dates from 1971.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper