explain


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ex·plain

 (ĭk-splān′)
v. ex·plained, ex·plain·ing, ex·plains
v.tr.
1. To make plain or comprehensible.
2. To define; expound: We explained our plan to the committee.
3.
a. To offer reasons for or a cause of; justify: explain an error.
b. To offer reasons for the actions, beliefs, or remarks of (oneself).
v.intr.
To make something plain or comprehensible: Let me explain.
Phrasal Verb:
explain away
To dismiss or minimize the significance of (something) by means of an explanation or excuse: There is no way to explain away my carelessness.

[Middle English explanen, from Latin explānāre : ex-, intensive pref.; see ex- + plānus, clear; see pelə- in Indo-European roots.]

ex·plain′a·ble adj.
Synonyms: explain, elucidate, explicate, interpret, construe
These verbs mean to make the nature or meaning of something understandable. Explain is the most widely applicable: The professor used a diagram to explain the theory of continental drift. The manual explained how the new software worked. To elucidate is to throw light on something complex: "Man's whole life and environment have been laid open and elucidated" (Thomas Carlyle).
Explicate implies detailed and usually learned and lengthy exploration or analysis: "Ordinary language philosophers tried to explicate the standards of usage" (Jerrold J. Katz).
To interpret is to reveal the underlying meaning of something by the application of special knowledge or insight: "A radiologist can interpret images made in Saudi Arabia and beamed to Boston, sending back a diagnosis within hours" (Richard Saltus).
Construe involves putting a particular construction or interpretation on something: "I take the official oath today ... with no purpose to construe the Constitution or laws by any hypercritical rules" (Abraham Lincoln).

explain

(ɪkˈspleɪn)
vb
1. (when tr, may take a clause as object) to make (something) comprehensible, esp by giving a clear and detailed account of the relevant structure, operation, surrounding circumstances, etc
2. (tr) to justify or attempt to justify (oneself) by giving reasons for one's actions or words
[C15: from Latin explānāre to flatten, from plānus level]
exˈplainable adj
exˈplainer n

ex•plain

(ɪkˈspleɪn)

v.t.
1. to make clear or intelligible.
2. to make known in detail.
3. to make clear the cause or reason of; account for: I cannot explain his strange behavior.
v.i.
4. to give an explanation.
5. explain away, to diminish the significance of through explanation; justify.
[1375–1425; < Latin explānāre to smooth out, make intelligible. See ex-1, plane2]
ex•plain′a•ble, adj.
ex•plain′er, n.

explain

If you explain something, you give details about it so that it can be understood.

The head teacher should be able to explain the school's teaching policy.

You say that you explain something to someone.

Let me explain to you about Jackie.
We explained everything to the police.

Be Careful!
You must use to in sentences like these. Don't say, for example, 'Let me explain you about Jackie'.

You can use explain with a that-clause to say that someone tells someone else the reason for something.

I explained that I was trying to write a book.

explain


Past participle: explained
Gerund: explaining

Imperative
explain
explain
Present
I explain
you explain
he/she/it explains
we explain
you explain
they explain
Preterite
I explained
you explained
he/she/it explained
we explained
you explained
they explained
Present Continuous
I am explaining
you are explaining
he/she/it is explaining
we are explaining
you are explaining
they are explaining
Present Perfect
I have explained
you have explained
he/she/it has explained
we have explained
you have explained
they have explained
Past Continuous
I was explaining
you were explaining
he/she/it was explaining
we were explaining
you were explaining
they were explaining
Past Perfect
I had explained
you had explained
he/she/it had explained
we had explained
you had explained
they had explained
Future
I will explain
you will explain
he/she/it will explain
we will explain
you will explain
they will explain
Future Perfect
I will have explained
you will have explained
he/she/it will have explained
we will have explained
you will have explained
they will have explained
Future Continuous
I will be explaining
you will be explaining
he/she/it will be explaining
we will be explaining
you will be explaining
they will be explaining
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been explaining
you have been explaining
he/she/it has been explaining
we have been explaining
you have been explaining
they have been explaining
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been explaining
you will have been explaining
he/she/it will have been explaining
we will have been explaining
you will have been explaining
they will have been explaining
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been explaining
you had been explaining
he/she/it had been explaining
we had been explaining
you had been explaining
they had been explaining
Conditional
I would explain
you would explain
he/she/it would explain
we would explain
you would explain
they would explain
Past Conditional
I would have explained
you would have explained
he/she/it would have explained
we would have explained
you would have explained
they would have explained
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.explain - make plain and comprehensibleexplain - make plain and comprehensible; "He explained the laws of physics to his students"
inform - impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to; "I informed him of his rights"
rede, interpret - give an interpretation or explanation to
account for - give reasons for; "Can you account for all these absences?"
naturalize - explain with reference to nature
clarify, clear up, elucidate - make clear and (more) comprehensible; "clarify the mystery surrounding her death"
comment - explain or interpret something
2.explain - define; "The committee explained their plan for fund-raising to the Dean"
say, state, tell - express in words; "He said that he wanted to marry her"; "tell me what is bothering you"; "state your opinion"; "state your name"
3.explain - serve as a reason or cause or justification of; "Your need to sleep late does not excuse your late arrival at work"; "Her recent divorce may explain her reluctance to date again"
alibi - exonerate by means of an alibi
vindicate, justify - show to be right by providing justification or proof; "vindicate a claim"

explain

verb
1. make clear or plain, describe, demonstrate, illustrate, teach, define, solve, resolve, interpret, disclose, unfold, clarify, clear up, simplify, expound, elucidate, put into words, throw light on, explicate (formal), give the details of He explained the process to us in simple terms.
2. account for, excuse, justify, give a reason for, give an explanation for Can you explain why you didn't telephone me?
Quotations
"Never explain - your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway" [Elbert Hubbard The Motto Book]

explain

verb
1. To make understandable:
Archaic: enucleate.
Idiom: put into plain English.
2. To find a solution for:
Informal: dope out, figure out.
3. To offer reasons for or a cause of:
phrasal verb
explain away
To conceal or make light of a fault or offense:
Translations
شرحشَرَح، فَسَّريَشْرَحُيُفَسِّر، يُعْطي السَّبب
explicar
vysvětlit
forklarebegrunde
selittää
objasniti
gefa skÿringu áútskÿra
説明する
설명하다
aiškinamasis
izskaidrotpaskaidrot
explica
pojasniti
förklara
อธิบาย
пояснити
giải thích

explain

[ɪksˈpleɪn]
A. VT (= make clear) [+ meaning, problem] → explicar; [+ plan] → explicar, exponer; [+ mystery] → explicar, aclarar; (= account for) [+ conduct] → explicar, justificar
I explained it to himse lo expliqué
that explains iteso lo explica, con eso queda todo aclarado
to explain o.s (clearly) → explicarse; (morally) → justificarse, defenderse
kindly explain yourself!¡explíquese Vd!
B. VI will you call him and explain?¿le llamas tú y se lo explicas?
I tried to explain, butintenté explicárselo, pero ...
explain away VT + ADVdar explicaciones (convincentes) de, justificar; (= excuse) → disculpar
try and explain that away!¡a ver cómo justificas eso!

explain

[ɪkˈspleɪn] vtexpliquer
to explain why → expliquer pourquoi
to explain how → expliquer comment
to explain sth to sb → expliquer qch à qn
to explain that ... → expliquer que ...
explain away
vt [+ mistake, failure, evidence] → trouver de bonnes explications à

explain

vterklären (to sb jdm); motives, situation, thoughtserläutern, erklären; mysteryaufklären; it’s all right, I can explain everythingschon gut, ich kann das alles erklären; that is easy to explain, that is easily explaineddas lässt sich leicht erklären; he wanted to see me but wouldn’t explain whyer wollte mich sehen, sagte aber nicht, warum or aus welchem Grunde; so that explains why he didn’t reactach, das erklärt, warum er nicht reagiert hat
vr (= justify)sich rechtfertigen; he’d better explain himselfich hoffe, er kann das erklären; I think you’d better start explaining yourselfwas hast du zu deiner Entschuldigung zu sagen?; explain yourself!was soll das?, kannst du das erklären?
vies erklären; please explainbitte erklären Sie das; I think you’ve got some explaining to doich glaube, Sie müssen da einiges erklären

explain

[ɪksˈpleɪn] vt (gen) → spiegare; (mystery) → chiarire
to explain o.s. → spiegarsi
explain away vtcercare di dare una motivazione a

explain

(ikˈsplein) verb
1. to make (something) clear or easy to understand. Can you explain the railway timetable to me?; Did she explain why she was late?
2. to give, or be, a reason for. I cannot explain his failure; That explains his silence.
explanation (ekspləˈneiʃən) noun
1. the act or process of explaining. Let me give a few words of explanation.
2. a statement or fact that explains. There are several possible explanations for the explosion.
exˈplanatory (-ˈsplӕnə-) adjective
giving an explanation. There are explanatory notes in this book.
explain away
to get rid of (difficulties etc) by clever explaining. She could not explain away the missing money.

explain

يَشْرَحُ vysvětlit forklare erklären εξηγώ explicar selittää expliquer objasniti spiegare 説明する 설명하다 uitleggen forklare wyjaśnić explicar, explicar-se объяснять förklara อธิบาย açıklamak giải thích 解释

explain

vt. explicar, aclarar;
___ the procedureexplique el procedimiento.
References in classic literature ?
I'll help you with the hard words, and they'' explain things if we don't understand," whispered Beth, very much impressed by the pretty books and her sisters, example.
Running up and down before the two perplexed men, Joe Welling began to explain.
But neither the Mohicans, nor I, who am a white man without a cross, can explain the cry just heard.
This person--a gray-headed man, of quiet and most respectful deportment --found it necessary to explain that his master still remained in his study, or private apartment; on entering which, an hour before, he had expressed a wish on no account to be disturbed.
Now she fixed her bright wild eyes on her mother, now on the minister, and now included them both in the same glance, as if to detect and explain to herself the relation which they bore to one another.
Never, truly, had a person "turned out" shown so little to explain it as this little person
Jokubas understood all the pitfalls of this new world, and could explain all of its mysteries; he could tell them the things they ought to have done in the different emergencies--and what was still more to the point, he could tell them what to do now.
Then you can explain, if you can, who gave you any authority to invite a passel of strangers to stop here over night, when you know we ain't had any company for twenty years, and don't intend to have any for another twenty,--or at any rate while I'm the head of the house.
It rests entirely with you to say whether any valid reason can or can not be produced to explain such an extraordinary proceeding as this.
Thereupon, turning over in my mind I the objects that had ever been presented to my senses I freely venture to state that I have never observed any which I could not satisfactorily explain by the principles had discovered.
I'm going to wash and dress, and then I'll come down and explain things.
He was back again so speedily that the Vice-warden had barely time to explain to my Lady that her remark about "a love for pastry" was "unfortunate.