clarify

verb
clar·​i·​fy | \ ˈkler-ə-ˌfī, ˈkla-rə-\
clarified; clarifying

Definition of clarify 

transitive verb

1 : to make understandable clarify a subject The president was forced to clarify his position on the issue.
2 : to free of confusion needs time to clarify his thoughts
3 : to make (a liquid or something liquefied) clear or pure usually by freeing from suspended matter clarify syrup

intransitive verb

: to become clear waiting for the present muddled diplomatic situation to clarifyNewsweek

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Other Words from clarify

clarification \ ˌkler-​ə-​fə-​ˈkā-​shən , ˌkla-​rə-​ \ noun
clarifier \ ˈkler-​ə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r , ˈkla-​rə-​ \ noun

Synonyms for clarify

Synonyms

clear, distill (also distil), filter, fine, garble, purify

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Examples of clarify in a Sentence

Can you clarify exactly what it is you're proposing? Her explanation did not clarify matters much. The president was forced to clarify his position on the issue. The committee clarified the manager's duties. a substance used to clarify wine
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Recent Examples on the Web

This isn’t to say all parents are in the wrong, Coleman clarifies. Ashley Edwards Walker, Good Housekeeping, "How to Re-Establish Contact With an Estranged Family Member," 21 Dec. 2018 The popular site also clarified that all tickets bought online would be automatically refunded. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Plan to Close Amid Protests in Paris," 7 Dec. 2018 There are areas of the policy, though, that could be clarified, including what fines might be assessed. Ken Belson, New York Times, "N.F.L. Players Association Files Grievance Over Anthem Policy," 10 July 2018 The nonbinding statement of parameters: The two sides also agreed to a 36-page declaration outlining the future relationship that clarifies some things. Max Colchester, WSJ, "What the EU and U.K. Agreed to on Brexit," 25 Nov. 2018 Although Indian authorities have clarified that there was no truth to the rumors and the targeted people were innocent, the deadly and brutal attacks, often captured on cellphones and shared on social media, have spread across the country. Washington Post, "India asks WhatsApp to prevent misuse after mob killings," 4 July 2018 Today, the app is rolling out a small, but important, update that helps clarify which posts are recent and which are older. Madeline Buxton, refinery29.com, "A Subtle Change To Your Instagram Feed Makes It More Timely," 2 July 2018 The rules likely will accelerate the spread of dockless scooters across the city, while also clarifying where they can be parked and ridden. James Briggs, Indianapolis Star, "Now that electric scooters are all over Indianapolis, they're not going away," 28 June 2018 Making the case against the extreme ideas of democratic socialists like Mr. Sanders and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez will require the GOP to rethink its policies and clarify its conservative vision. Karl Rove, WSJ, "Stopping the Socialist Resurgence," 28 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clarify.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of clarify

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

History and Etymology for clarify

Middle English clarifien, from Anglo-French clarifier, from Late Latin clarificare, from Latin clarus clear — more at clear

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Dictionary Entries near clarify

Clarias

Claribel Flute

clarifiable

clarify

clarin

clarina

clarinet

Statistics for clarify

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for clarify

The first known use of clarify was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for clarify

clarify

verb

English Language Learners Definition of clarify

: to make (something) easier to understand

: to make (a liquid) purer or easier to see through

clarify

verb
clar·​i·​fy | \ ˈkler-ə-ˌfī \
clarified; clarifying

Kids Definition of clarify

1 : to make or to become pure or clear clarify a liquid
2 : to make or become more easily understood clarify a statement

clarify

verb
clar·​i·​fy | \ ˈklar-ə-ˌfī \
clarified; clarifying

Medical Definition of clarify 

transitive verb

: to make (as a liquid) clear or pure usually by freeing from suspended matter clarify sewage

intransitive verb

: to become clear

Other Words from clarify

clarification \ ˌklar-​ə-​fə-​ˈkā-​shən \ noun
clarifier \ ˈklar-​ə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on clarify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clarify

Spanish Central: Translation of clarify

Nglish: Translation of clarify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clarify for Arabic Speakers

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