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, explicate(verb)

    make plain and comprehensible

    "He explained the laws of physics to his students"

  2. explain(verb)

    define

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

  3. excuse, explain(verb)

    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. explain(Verb)

    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. explain(Verb)

    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. explain(Verb)

    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. explain(Verb)

    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. Explain(adj)

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

  2. Explain(adj)

    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. Explain(verb)

    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  

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?

  1. Alex
    Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Veena
    Indian

How to say explain in sign language?

  1. explain

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. Donald Trump:

    There's something in the Iran deal that people I don't think really understand or know about, and nobody is able to explain it that if somebody attacks Iran, we have to come to their defense. And I'm saying, does that includes Israel? And most people say, yes. They don't have exclusion for Israel. So, if Israel attacks Iran according to that deal, I believe, the way it reads unless they have a codicil or they have something to it, that we have to fight with Iran against Israel.

  2. Amy Jeffress:

    We asked the committee staff to explain the scope of the investigation and provide sufficient notice that would allow her to prepare, which are normal conditions for congressional committees, but these committees have not followed the normal process, the FBI has agreed to provide Lisa with her notes and other documents to allow her to prepare, but they have not provided those documents to date, so we are still waiting to work out a reasonable date for her interview. Lisa has cooperated voluntarily with another congressional committee that had no objection to explaining the scope of The FBI investigation or providing sufficient notice for her interview. Lisa also cooperated fully with the OIG investigation and appeared voluntarily for multiple interviews, including after she left The FBI.

  3. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati:

    I had him on the phone for a good amount of time so he could really explain to me what he was trying to tell me. My question to him was, ‘ Is this really necessary ? Does this really need to be a three-day suspension under the circumstances that he was playing and he’s 6 years old ?

  4. Yasemin Baban:

    A dog cannot talk and cannot say what he is suffering from. A dog doesn't know to beg. A human, worst-case scenario, can at least steal to stay alive. They can explain themselves. A dog has no chances in a city like this.

  5. Katrin Goering-Eckhardt:

    They must immediately explain who has what role in the attack on press freedom.

Images & Illustrations of explain

  1. explainexplainexplainexplainexplain

Popularity rank by frequency of use

explain#1#3082#10000

Translations for explain

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    an unfortunate mishap; especially one causing damage or injury
    • A. accommodation
    • B. trigger
    • C. assault
    • D. accident

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