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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.
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 explanations
  • Mysterious holes for which there are no obvious reasons or explanations.
  • However, the researchers make a good case that none of the alternative explanations are likely.
  • But if you find some reasonable and probable explanations, then there's no much point in making a big fuss of it.
  • Despite all the possibly explanations provided for this appendage, none are especially satisfying.
  • While plausible, these explanations are not satisfactory.
  • There could still be alternate explanations for some of the traits they found.
  • Potential explanations range from the mechanical to the clandestine.
  • Physiology and evolutionary theory alike offer explanations for this tendency.
  • Geography and history go a long way toward providing the explanations.
  • In many such cases explanations have been put forward to explain this behavior.
British Dictionary definitions for explanations


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 explanations



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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