[ ik-splis-it ]
See synonyms for: explicitexplicitlyexplicitness 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.

  1. definite and unreserved in expression; outspoken: He was quite explicit as to what he expected us to do for him.

  2. having sexual acts or nudity clearly depicted: explicit movies; explicit books.

  3. Mathematics. (of a function) having the dependent variable expressed directly in terms of the independent variables, as y = 3x + 4.: Compare implicit (def. 4).

Origin of explicit

First recorded in 1605–15; from Latin explicitus “unfolded, set forth,” variant past participle of explicāre; see origin at explicate

Other words for explicit

Opposites for explicit

Other words from explicit

  • ex·plic·it·ly, adverb
  • ex·plic·it·ness, noun
  • o·ver·ex·plic·it, adjective
  • qua·si-ex·plic·it, adjective
  • su·per·ex·plic·it, adjective
  • un·ex·plic·it, adjective

Words that may be confused with explicit

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use explicit in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for explicit (1 of 2)


/ (ɪkˈsplɪsɪt) /

  1. precisely and clearly expressed, leaving nothing to implication; fully stated: explicit instructions

  2. graphically detailed, leaving little to the imagination: sexually explicit scenes

  1. openly expressed without reservations; unreserved

  2. 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 + z: Compare implicit (def. 4)

Origin of explicit

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

Derived forms of explicit

  • explicitly, adverb
  • explicitness, noun

British Dictionary definitions for explicit (2 of 2)


/ (ɪkˈsplɪsɪt) /

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

Origin of explicit

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