1375–1425; late Middle English explanen
< Latin explānāre
to smooth out, make intelligible, spread out on flat surface. See ex-1
explainable, adjectiveexplainer, explanator [ek-spluh-ney-ter] /ˈɛk spləˌneɪ tər/ Show IPA, nounmisexplained, adjectivenonexplainable, adjectiveoverexplain, verbpreexplain, verbreexplain, verb (used with object)unexplainable, adjectiveunexplainably, adverbunexplained, adjectiveunexplaining, adjectivewell-explained, adjective
1. Explain, elucidate, expound, interpret
imply making the meaning of something clear or understandable. To explain
is to make plain, clear, or intelligible something that is not known or understood: to explain a theory or a problem.
is to throw light on what before was dark and obscure, usually by illustration and commentary and sometimes by elaborate explanation: They asked him to elucidate his statement.
is to give a methodical, detailed, scholarly explanation of something, usually Scriptures, doctrines, or philosophy: to expound the doctrine of free will.
is to give the meaning of something by paraphrase, by translation, or by an explanation based on personal opinion: to interpret a poem or a symbol.