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[ik-splis-it] /ɪkˈsplɪs ɪt/
fully and clearly expressed or demonstrated; leaving nothing merely implied; unequivocal:
explicit instructions; an explicit act of violence; explicit language.
clearly developed or formulated:
explicit knowledge; explicit belief.
definite and unreserved in expression; outspoken:
He was quite explicit as to what he expected us to do for him.
described or shown in realistic detail:
explicit sexual scenes.
having sexual acts or nudity clearly depicted:
explicit movies; explicit books.
Mathematics. (of a function) having the dependent variable expressed directly in terms of the independent variables, as y = 3 x + 4.
Compare implicit (def 4).
Origin of explicit
1605-15; < Latin explicitus unfolded, set forth, variant past participle of explicāre. See explicate
Related forms
explicitly, adverb
explicitness, noun
overexplicit, adjective
quasi-explicit, adjective
quasi-explicitly, adverb
superexplicit, adjective
superexplicitly, adverb
unexplicit, adjective
unexplicitly, adverb
Can be confused
explicit, implicit, implied.
1. express, definite, precise, exact, unambiguous. 3. open, forthright, unabashed.
1. indefinite, ambiguous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for explicitly
  • Much of it has been clearly determined and explicitly directed to this high aim.
  • But several justices offered spirited resistance to a more explicitly expansive.
  • And certainly one walks into dangerous territory when designing tax policies to explicitly redistribute wealth from rich to poor.
  • Government policies explicitly promote health, well-being, and a balance between work and home life.
  • Money, on the other hand, is not optional: it's explicitly banned.
  • Their ads target only the data that users explicitly enter into their profiles.
  • Some colleges are already amending conduct-code policies to explicitly address social media.
  • Now, he says, it covers only risks that have been explicitly spelled out.
  • For a decade their user agreements have explicitly forbidden the use of the seeds for any independent research.
  • None of which are explicitly creative, but they are things that get to creativity.
British Dictionary definitions for explicitly


precisely and clearly expressed, leaving nothing to implication; fully stated: explicit instructions
graphically detailed, leaving little to the imagination: sexually explicit scenes
openly expressed without reservations; unreserved
(maths) (of a function) having an equation of the form y=f(x), in which y is expressed directly in terms of x, as in y=x4 + x + z Compare implicit (sense 4)
Derived Forms
explicitly, adverb
explicitness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin explicitus unfolded, from explicāre; see explicate


the end; an indication, used esp by medieval scribes, of the end of a book, part of a manuscript, etc
Word Origin
Late Latin, probably short for explicitus est liber the book is unfolded (or complete); shortened by analogy with incipit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for explicitly

1630s, from explicit + -ly (2). Opposed to implicitly.



c.1600, from French explicite, from Latin explicitus "unobstructed," variant past participle of explicare "unfold, unravel, explain," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + plicare "to fold" (see ply (v.1)).

"Explicitus" was written at the end of medieval books, originally short for explicitus est liber "the book is unrolled." As a euphemism for "pornographic" it dates from 1971.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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