Children's, Intermediate and Advanced Online English Dictionary & Thesaurus

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ihk spleIn
parts of speech:
transitive verb, intransitive verb
explain away
grammatical pattern:
verb + to smby + WH or that clause, verb + WH + clause, verb + WH + inf, verb + poss + gerund, verb + that
Word Combinations (verb), Word Explorer
part of speech: transitive verb
inflections: explains, explaining, explained
definition 1: to make clear in speech or writing; make plain or understandable by analysis or description.
The instructor explained the operation of the engine to the students.Your supervisor will explain to you what the job involves.[verb + to smby + WH or that clause ] The flight attendant explained how the exit doors can be opened.[verb + WH + clause ] She finally explained why she could not marry him.[verb + WH + clause ] The instructions explain how to combine the ingredients.[verb + WH + inf ]
elucidate, explicate, show, spell out
similar words:
account, amplify, clarify, define, delineate, demonstrate, exhibit, get across, interpret, simplify, translate, unravel, untangle
definition 2: to give reasons for.
Please explain your absence from the meeting this morning.He could not explain his wife's leaving--hadn't he always been a good husband to her?[verb + poss + gerund ]
account for, rationalize
similar words:
amplify, defend, justify, vindicate, warrant
definition 3: to say as a reason.
She wondered why he was late, and he explained that he missed the bus.[verb + that ] I have already explained that we are not equipped to handle such large orders.[verb + that ] The manager explained to them that the large table was reserved.[verb + to smby + that clause ]
definition 4: to tell the meaning or significance of.
The student understood the paragraph after the teacher explained the idioms.Scientists have often observed this phenomenon, but they cannot explain it yet.I liked the poem once it was explained to me.
account for
similar words:
part of speech: intransitive verb
definition: to make a clarification or give an explanation.
She knew her parents were puzzled, but she did not explain.Could you explain again about the stock market crash?
similar words:
amplify, decipher, demonstrate, expound, interpret
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phrase: explain away
derivation: explainable (adj.)
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  education, literature