Dictionary » E » Explain

Explain

Explain

1. To flatten; to spread out; to unfold; to expand. The horse-chestnut is . . . Ready to explain its leaf. (Evelyn)

2. To make plain, manifest, or intelligible; to clear of obscurity; to expound; to unfold and illustrate the meaning of; as, to explain a chapter of the bible. Commentators to explain the difficult passages to you. (Gay) to explain away, to get rid of by explanation. Those explain the meaning quite away.

Synonym: to expound, interpret, elucidate, clear up.

Origin: L. Explandare to flatten, spread out, explain; ex out_plandare to make level or plain, planus plain: cf. OF. Esplaner, explaner. See plain, and cf. Esplanade.


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