from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act or process of explaining: launched into a detailed explanation.
  • n. Something that explains: That was supposedly the explanation for their misdeeds.
  • n. A mutual clarification of misunderstandings; a reconciliation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act or process of explaining
  • n. Something that explains, makes understandable
  • n. An excuse, apologetic justification not based on enough evidence

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of explaining, expounding, or interpreting; the act of clearing from obscurity and making intelligible.
  • n. That which explains or makes clear.
  • n. The meaning attributed to anything by one who explains it; definition; interpretation; sense.
  • n. A mutual exposition of terms, meaning, or motives, with a view to adjust a misunderstanding, and reconcile differences; reconciliation; agreement.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of explaining.
  • n. The process of showing by reasoning or investigation the causal or logical antecedents or conditions of some thing or event which is to be accounted for; specifically, the making clear by reasoning how certain observed or admitted facts may have been brought about by the action of known principles, if a certain supposition is allowed; the unification of a confused mass of facts, by means of a single known or supposed fact from which they would all necessarily or probably result.
  • n. That which is adduced as explaining or seeming to explain; specifically, a meaning or interpretation assigned; the sense given by an expounder or interpreter.
  • n. An inquiry into language used, actions, or motives, with a view to adjust a misunderstanding and reconcile differences; hence, reconciliation or reëstablishment of good understanding between persons who have been at variance.
  • n. Synonyms Explication, elucidation, description.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a statement that makes something comprehensible by describing the relevant structure or operation or circumstances etc.
  • n. thought that makes something comprehensible
  • n. the act of explaining; making something plain or intelligible


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin explanatio ("an explanation, interpretation"), from explanare ("explain"); see explain.



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