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or explanative

[ik-splan-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪkˈsplæn əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/
serving to explain:
an explanatory footnote.
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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I can't talk any more now," she said, reverting to an explanatory tone of voice.

    The Wild Olive Basil King
  • A letter, let it be ever so explanatory, will only leave them in suspense.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • He brought over a sheaf of graphs, with explanatory tables attached.

    The Ultimate Weapon John Wood Campbell
  • I was in hopes of one moment, one explanatory word or look from Berenice.

  • Both parties prepared long statements setting forth their views and feelings, and explanatory of their real or supposed injuries.

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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