clarify

verb
clar·​i·​fy | \ ˈkler-ə-ˌfī How to pronounce clarify (audio) , 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 How to pronounce clarification (audio) , ˌkla-​rə-​ \ noun
clarifier \ ˈkler-​ə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r How to pronounce clarifier (audio) , 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

Here are some of the biggest questions from Day One, clarified. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "Hit-and-run, scraping noises and a surprise unloading: Your Red Line questions answered after Day One," 1 Sep. 2019 Erring on the side of caution, water district officials sent out new notices to customers with clarifying language, Scott said. Lila Seidman, Glendale News-Press, "Many Foothills residents will have higher water bills in September," 30 Aug. 2019 The Sprezzatura celebrates summer with gin, clarified tomato, cucumber, the tart and old-school ingredient Lactart, and soda. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "A first visit to chef Tiffani Faison’s Orfano," 29 Aug. 2019 Squalene, black cumin seed oil, and algae extract clarify and balance acne-prone skin. Chloe Metzger And Taylore Glynn, Marie Claire, "The Best Face Oil for Every Single Skin Type," 29 Aug. 2019 Policy has since been clarified that when an inmate is in labor, an emergency ambulance will be called. Allyson Chiu, The Denver Post, "Woman gave birth alone in Denver County Jail after cries for help were ignored, lawsuit says," 29 Aug. 2019 Jones said the ordinance, which was named after Strickland, defined responsibilities for pet owners, clarified the rights of residents who report dogs, increased licensing requirements and more. Kat Stafford, Detroit Free Press, "Chained and neglected: Detroit's dog problem persists despite child deaths," 28 Aug. 2019 When The Enquirer shared proof that Sydney arrived later, the spokesman clarified that the bus first arrived outside the daycare at 4:39 p.m. Max Londberg, Cincinnati.com, "'I thought my kid was dead.' Late buses, unanswered calls leave parents panicking," 26 Aug. 2019 Kalogera says that scientists are still combing through the data on S190814bv to put limits on the black hole’s mass, which should clarify the situation for this event. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Astronomers probably just saw a black hole swallow a dead star," 16 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for clarify

Last Updated

5 Sep 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 How to pronounce clarify (audio) \
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 How to pronounce clarify (audio) \
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 How to pronounce clarification (audio) \ noun
clarifier \ ˈklar-​ə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r How to pronounce clarifier (audio) \ 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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