make plain and comprehensible
"He explained the laws of physics to his students"
"The committee explained their plan for fund-raising to the Dean"
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"
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.
To give a valid excuse for some past behavior.
To make flat, smooth out.
To unfold or make visible.
Origin: explanen, from explaner, from explanō, from ex- + planō, from planus; see plain and plane. Compare esplanade, splanade. Displaced native arecchen, irecchen (from areccan, gereccan).
to flatten; to spread out; to unfold; to expand
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
to give an explanation
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
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. explanāre—ex, out, planāre—planus, plain.]
British National Corpus
Spoken Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'explain' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1356
Written Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'explain' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1107
Rank popularity for the word 'explain' in Verbs Frequency: #119
The numerical value of explain in Chaldean Numerology is: 1
The numerical value of explain in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9
Sample Sentences & Example Usage
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Translations for explain
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- شرح, يشرح, فسرArabic
- обяснявам, давам обясненияBulgarian
- explicarCatalan, Valencian
- erklären, erläuternGerman
- توضیح دادنPersian
- selittää, selostaaFinnish
- expliquer, justifier, ExpliqueFrench
- spiegare, illustrare, chiosareItalian
- 설명하다, 변명하다Korean
- saloxandin, derbirin, vegotin, şayesandinKurdish
- whakamahuki, whakamāramaMāori
- uitleggen, verklarenDutch
- explicar, explanarPortuguese
- оправдывать, оправдать, объяснить, объяснятьRussian
- обја̀снити, расвијетлити, objàsniti, rasvijetlitiSerbo-Croatian
- อธิบาย, ชี้แจงThai
- سمجھانا, اس بات کی وUrdu
- giải thíchVietnamese
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