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[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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He had to face his landlord with some explanation of the bank's inquiry.

  • I had indicated this place because I wanted to hear the explanation of the captain of the Islander.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • As for Will, of course he wanted to have an explanation too.

    The Chaplain of the Fleet Walter Besant and James Rice
  • "I'll come and have an explanation," said Paul, after a pause.

    The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
  • If you have any explanation to offer, I shall be disengaged and alone till 11.30 this morning.

    Temporal Power Marie Corelli
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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