What does explain mean?

Definitions for explain
ɪkˈspleɪnex·plain

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word explain.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. explain, explicateverb

    make plain and comprehensible

    "He explained the laws of physics to his students"

  2. explainverb

    define

    "The committee explained their plan for fund-raising to the Dean"

  3. excuse, explainverb

    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"

Wiktionary

  1. explainverb

    To give a sufficiently detailed report about (a) the reason for something, about why something happened, about a causal chain of events; about (b) how something works, about how elements in a system interact; about (c) how to do something, about the steps which need to be accomplished in order to accomplish a certain goal.

    Etymology: explanen, from explaner, from explanō, from ex- + planō, from planus; see plain and plane. Compare esplanade, splanade. Displaced native arecchen, irecchen (from areccan, gereccan).

  2. explainverb

    To give a valid excuse for some past behavior.

    Etymology: explanen, from explaner, from explanō, from ex- + planō, from planus; see plain and plane. Compare esplanade, splanade. Displaced native arecchen, irecchen (from areccan, gereccan).

  3. explainverb

    To make flat, smooth out.

    Etymology: explanen, from explaner, from explanō, from ex- + planō, from planus; see plain and plane. Compare esplanade, splanade. Displaced native arecchen, irecchen (from areccan, gereccan).

  4. explainverb

    To unfold or make visible.

    Etymology: explanen, from explaner, from explanō, from ex- + planō, from planus; see plain and plane. Compare esplanade, splanade. Displaced native arecchen, irecchen (from areccan, gereccan).

Webster Dictionary

  1. Explainadjective

    to flatten; to spread out; to unfold; to expand

  2. Explainadjective

    to make plain, manifest, or intelligible; to clear of obscurity; to expound; to unfold and illustrate the meaning of; as, to explain a chapter of the Bible

  3. Explainverb

    to give an explanation

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Explain

    eks-plān′, v.t. to make plain or intelligible: to unfold and illustrate the meaning of: to expound: to account for.—adj. Explain′able, that may be explained or cleared up.—ns. Explain′er, one who explains; Explanā′tion, act of explaining or clearing from obscurity: that which explains or clears up: the meaning or sense given to anything: a mutual clearing up of matters.—adv. Explan′atorily.—adj. Explan′atory, serving to explain or clear up: containing explanations.—Explain away, to modify the force of by explanation, generally in a bad sense. [O. Fr. explaner—L. explanāreex, out, planāreplanus, plain.]

Editors Contribution

  1. explain

    To use words to provide data, detail, an answer, response, proof or information.

    The government are asked to explain the reason for their efficient and effective increase in revenue.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 14, 2020  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'explain' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1356

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'explain' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1107

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'explain' in Verbs Frequency: #119

How to pronounce explain?

How to say explain in sign language?

Numerology

  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of explain in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of explain in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of explain in a Sentence

  1. Jeannette Rankin:

    How shall we explain to [women] the meaning of democracy if the same Congress that voted for war to make the world safe for democracy refuses to give this small measure of democracy to the women of our country?

  2. Lisa Smittcamp:

    His life sentence remains relevant today - 35 years later -because he still can not begin to explain why he took Mike’s life, and why he did so in a depraved and indifferent manner.

  3. Morten Heierdal of Anti-Doping Norway:

    It's a combination of information and knowledge, parents need to explain that the short-term gains don't last and that the negative side-effects have consequences.

  4. Gerald Ortiz y Pino:

    We lost; there is no way of getting around that, if activists want to get a different result, theyre going to have to get more women in the Senate or theyre going to have to explain to more men in the Senate that they want a womens right to choose to be honored.

  5. Brock Bastian:

    It opens up new insights into the emergence of religion as a belief system that developed to explain natural threats or events.

Popularity rank by frequency of use

explain#1#3082#10000

Translations for explain

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for explain »

Translation

Find a translation for the explain definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Discuss these explain definitions with the community:

0 Comments

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "explain." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 28 May 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/explain>.

    Are we missing a good definition for explain? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Quiz

    Are you a words master?

    »
    the act of giving an account describing incidents or a course of events
    • A. concoction
    • B. recital
    • C. whitewash
    • D. scholastic

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for explain: