Word of the Day Archive
Saturday March 11, 2000
elucidate \ih-LOO-si-dayt\ , transitive verb:
To make clear or manifest; to render more intelligible; to illustrate; as, an example will elucidate the subject.
He thought that film's promise and purpose was to elucidate the real, to reveal the patterns already before us, and he believed that unity of space and time were paramount.
-- Nancy Reisman, House Fires
Beginning our journey into the past, we will now examine plant and animal clues in amber to elucidate the mysteries of the forest that was the home of our bee.
-- George Poinar Jr. and Roberta Poinar, The Amber Forest :A Reconstruction of a Vanished World
The plan is to sail south to between 52 and 54 degrees south latitude and search for land; if no land is discovered, to run east to the longitude of the eastern extremity of New Guinea, then north to elucidate questions raised by Dutch and Spanish voyages.
-- Alan Gurney, Below the Convergence
Elucidate comes from Late Latin elucidare, to clear up, from ex-, e-, out of + lucidus, bright, from lux, luc- light. Hence to elucidate is to bring the inner light out of an obscure subject. One who elucidates is an elucidator; that which tends to elucidate is elucidative; the act of elucidating, or that which elucidates, is an elucidation.