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Explain

Explain is sometimes a misspelling of explained.

The word explain is considered to be an easy one, according to the Dale-Chall word list, which includes 3000 words that all fourth-grade American students should know and understand.

Definition of the verb explain

What does explain mean as a doing word?

Explain is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.View more statistics!

verb - inflections: explained | explaining | explains

  1. make plain and comprehensible
    • examples: He explained the laws of physics to his students | Sam and Sue explain the movie
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb]I explained
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, how-extraction]I explained how it can be done
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, wh-infinitive clause]I explained how to do it
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, what-extraction]I explained what he should do
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, what-infinitive clause]I explained what to do
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, not sentential clause]I explained the matter
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, not sentential clause] to [Recipient]I explained the matter to them
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] from [Source]I explained from Simone de Beauvoir's essay on the Marquis de Sade
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] to [Recipient] [Topic, how-extraction]I explained to her how it can be done
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] to [Recipient] [Topic, wh-infinitive clause]I explained to her how to do it

      Verbs of Communication (with the same syntax): communicate, corroborate, demonstrate, elucidate, explicate, expound, illustrate, justify, narrate, pose, preach, read, recite, relay, sniff, verify.

    • lexical domain: Communication - verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing
    • synonym of explain: explicate
    • more generic word: inform = impart knowledge of some fact, state of affairs, or event to
    • more specific terms:
  2. define
    • examples: The committee explained their plan for fund-raising to the Dean | They explain that there was a traffic accident
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formulaVerbs with the same syntax
      [Cause] [Verb] [Topic, how-extraction]This indicates how she did itIndicate Verbs: indicate, say
      [Cause] [Verb] [Topic, wh-complement clause]This indicates whether he is the thief
      [Cause] [Verb] [Topic, wh-infinitive clause]This indicates how to do it
      [Cause] [Verb] [Topic, what-extraction]This indicates what he should do
      [Cause] [Verb] [Topic, not sentential clause]This indicates it
      [Cause] [Verb] to [Recipient] [Topic, how-extraction]This indicates to us how it happended
      [Cause] [Verb] to [Recipient] [Topic, that-complement clause, not tensed]This indicates to us that they had stolen money
      [Cause] [Verb] to [Recipient] [Topic, wh-complement clause]This indicates to me whether they did it
      [Cause] [Verb] to [Recipient] [Topic, what-extraction]This indicates to me what he is
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb]I explainedVerbs of Communication: communicate, corroborate, demonstrate, elucidate, explicate, expound, illustrate, justify, narrate, pose, preach, read, recite, relay, sniff, verify
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, how-extraction]I explained how it can be done
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, wh-infinitive clause]I explained how to do it
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, what-extraction]I explained what he should do
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, what-infinitive clause]I explained what to do
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, not sentential clause]I explained the matter
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Topic, not sentential clause] to [Recipient]I explained the matter to them
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] from [Source]I explained from Simone de Beauvoir's essay on the Marquis de Sade
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] to [Recipient] [Topic, how-extraction]I explained to her how it can be done
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] to [Recipient] [Topic, wh-infinitive clause]I explained to her how to do it
    • lexical domain: Communication - verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing
    • more generic words: say / state / tell = express in words
  3. serve as a reason or cause or justification of
    • example: Her recent divorce may explain her reluctance to date again
    • lexical domain: Communication - verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing
    • synonym of explain: excuse
    • more generic words: justify / vindicate = show to be right by providing justification or proof
    • more specific word: alibi = exonerate by means of an alibi

Alternative definition of the verb explain

verb

  1. To give a sufficiently detailed report about (a) the reason for something, about why something happened, about a causal chain of events; about (b) how something works, about how elements in a system interact; about (c) how to do something, about the steps which need to be accomplished in order to accomplish a certain goal.
  2. To give a valid excuse for some past behavior.
  3. [obsolete] To make flat, smooth out.
  4. [obsolete] To unfold or make visible.

Music

"Explain" is a musical single of Vengeance.

  • released on (6 years ago)

Phrases with Explain

  1. explain away
  2. To Explain Away
  3. re-explain
  4. to explain

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Explain

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewThings We Couldn't Explain (2014)

by Betsy Tobin

Things We Couldn't Explain is a comic story of young love, thwarted desire and the slippery nature of faith.

Google previewDevelopmental Disorders of Language Learning and Cognition (2013)

by Charles Hulme, Margaret J. Snowling

The simplest example to explain is the use of markings for past ...

Google previewNagarjuna in Context (2012)

Mahayana Buddhism and Early Indian Culture by Joseph Walser

One salient fact that all three hypotheses discussed at the beginning of the chapter attempt to explain is the virtual invisibility of Maháyána in the archaeological record. As mentioned above, plenty of Maháyána sñtras were composed before ...

Google previewGlossographia Anglicana nova, or, A dictionary, interpreting such hard words of whatever language, as are at present used in the English tongue, with their etymologies, definitions, &c (1707)

also, the terms of divinity, law, physick, mathematicks, grammar, poetry, musick, heraldry, architecture, painting, war, and all other arts and sciences are herein explain'd, from the best modern authors, as, Sir Isaac Newton, Dr. Harris, Dr. Gregory, Mr. Lock, Mr. Evelyn, Mr. Dryden, Mr. Blunt, &c. Very useful to all those that desire to understand what they read

also, the terms of divinity, law, physick, mathematicks, grammar, poetry, musick, heraldry, architecture, painting, war, and all other arts and sciences are herein explain'd, from the best modern authors, as, Sir Isaac Newton, Dr. Harris, Dr.

Google previewThe writer's and student's assistant: or, A compendious dictionary, rendering the more common words and phrases in the English language into the more elegant or scholastic (1835)

by John Henry Brady

To Explain — expound, illustrate, illuminate, elucidate, interpret, solve, define, describe. Explain (previously) — premise. Explanation — definition, description, explication , ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Case Study Research (2010)

L - Z; Index by Albert J. Mills, Gabrielle Durepos, Elden Wiebe

to explain particular events. Such science works with what information is available to create as plausible an explanation as possible. Later it might be completely overturned by new information and hypotheses. Another genre of historically ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Explain

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Usage statistics about explain

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Usage statistics for the verb explain:

spoken English35.05%written English64.95% conversational speech24.62%task-oriented speech75.38% imaginative writing53.32%informational writing46.68%

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb explain:

explicateexcuseexplain

Photos about Explain

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explain

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If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Dentist explain to the clientSmall photo of attractive beauty girl patient asking problem when doctor using skeleton human model explain illness and provide recommended treatment solution.Small photo of Dentist explain to the clientSmall photo of Dentist explain to the clientSmall photo of Woman waiter explain menu for customer More...

Video language resources about Explain

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See also the pronunciation examples of Explain!

Sign language

Explain sign language By playing & Representation

Quotes about Explain

People will listen a great deal more patiently while you explain your mistakes than when you explain your successes. (Wilbur N. Nesbit)
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Scrabble value of E1X8P3L1A1I1N1

The value of this 7-letter word is 16 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of EXPLAIN

What do you get if you rearrange the letters?

  • AXLE PIN

See also the blanagrams of Explain!

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