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. Janice Dickinson:

    Do you want to explain what happened last night, because that wasn't cool, i wanted to hit him, I wanted to punch him in the face.

  2. Le Maire:

    We cannot explain to a population that they should pay their taxes when certain companies do not because they shift their profits to low-tax jurisdictions.

  3. Sue Mi Terry:

    I think President Moon is going to try to explain North Korea position, president Moon will try and do a lot of talking on Kim's behalf. And if President Donald Trump is not convinced, then there's no meeting.

  4. Stephen Colbert:

    We couldn't explain to anyone how the world was different now, we had no vocabulary for what you showed us.

  5. Lindsey Graham:

    I don't know Dr. (Ben) Carson's foreign policy. He's got to explain it to me, carly (Fiorina) said she's not reached the point where she would say we need boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria. I don't know what point we've got to reach. It's obvious to me that we're well past the point where we need to deal with ISIL on the ground and Iraq and Syria.

Images & Illustrations of explain

  1. explainexplainexplainexplainexplain

Popularity rank by frequency of use

explain#1#3082#10000

Translations for explain

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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