Word of the DaySunday, April 06, 2003
\EK-spluh-kayt\ , transitive verb;
To explain; to clear of difficulties or obscurity.
I can cite a case -- my own -- of a young person's being altered politically by a novel, but I cannot explicate the process, let alone explain it in terms of the author's intention or literary strategies.
-- Mary McCarthy, "The Lasting Power of the Political Novel", New York Times, January 1, 1984
The French baccalaureate exam asked students to explicate a passage from Kant.
-- Cullen Murphy, "Common Stock", The Atlantic, February 2001
Explicate comes from Latin explicare, "to unfold; to unfold the meaning or sense of; to explain, expound, or interpret," from ex-, "out" + plicare, "to fold."
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