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.

1350–1400; Middle English explanacioun < Latin explānātiōn- (stem of explānātiō), equivalent to explānāt(us) (see explanate) + -iōn- -ion

overexplanation, noun
preexplanation, noun
reexplanation, noun

1. elucidation, explication, exposition, interpretation, description. 3. solution, key, answer.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
explanation (ˌɛkspləˈneɪʃən)
1.  the act or process of explaining
2.  a statement or occurrence that explains
3.  a clarification of disputed terms or points; reconciliation

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from L. explanationem noun of action from explanare "to make plain or clear, explain," lit. "make level, flatten," from ex- "out" + planus "flat" (see plane (1)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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