Why was clemency trending last week?


[ik-splan-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪkˈsplæn əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/
serving to explain:
an explanatory footnote.
Also, explanative.
Origin of explanatory
1610-20; < Late Latin explānātōrius. See explain, -tory1
Related forms
explanatorily, explanatively, adverb
nonexplanative, adjective
nonexplanatory, adjective
preexplanatory, adjective
unexplanatory, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for explanatory
  • The first two columns are self-explanatory but the third is less so.
  • Bear in mind that the word interactive at that time still needed an explanatory footnote.
  • And yet it must be said that privilege does have enormous explanatory power.
  • But first, let's apply a clean explanatory schema or three to the print revolution to see how each one fits.
  • Bear with me for some illustrations, from this excellent explanatory site.
  • It's the kind of sad statistic that is self-explanatory.
  • But both the arboreal and the cursorial scenarios have explanatory gaps.
  • In lieu of the actual article, you were far more explanatory.
  • We shall interrupt a little in order to open up an explanatory digression.
  • Good design should make an explorable thing largely self explanatory.
British Dictionary definitions for explanatory


/ɪkˈsplænətərɪ; -trɪ/
serving or intended to serve as an explanation
Derived Forms
explanatorily, adverb
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 explanatory

1610s, from or modeled on Late Latin explanatorius "having to do with an explanation," from Latin explanat-, past participle stem of explanare (see explanation).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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