9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ek-spluh-ney-shuh n] /ˌɛk spləˈneɪ ʃən/
the act or process of explaining.
something that explains; a statement made to clarify something and make it understandable; exposition:
an explanation of a poem.
a meaning or interpretation:
to find an explanation for a mystery.
a mutual declaration of the meaning of words spoken, actions, motives, etc., with a view to adjusting a misunderstanding or reconciling differences:
After a long and emotional explanation they were friends again.
Origin of explanation
1350-1400; Middle English explanacioun < Latin explānātiōn- (stem of explānātiō), equivalent to explānāt(us) (see explanate) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
overexplanation, noun
preexplanation, noun
reexplanation, noun
1. elucidation, explication, exposition, interpretation, description. 3. solution, key, answer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for explanation
  • Grading a paper entails commentary and explanation, an answer key.
  • The truth was that there was no logical explanation.
  • The explanation once commonly dispensed in textbooks turns out to be wrong.
  • Neil's explanation was essentially that the tides are caused by the moon.
  • Losing fur to cool ourselves is a far more probable explanation.
  • The explanation of crop circles is widely disputed .
  • That's about the worst explanation of lenticular clouds I have ever read.
  • She comes back with swagger and a quick explanation for her reappearance.
  • This explanation seems far-fetched to me.
  • Understanding how this makes any sense, though, requires a bit more explanation.
British Dictionary definitions for explanation


the act or process of explaining
a statement or occurrence that explains
a clarification of disputed terms or points; reconciliation
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for explanation

late 14c., from Latin explanationem (nominative explanatio), noun of action from past participle stem of explanare "to make plain or clear, explain," literally "make level, flatten," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + planus "flat" (see plane (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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