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

Still, enforcement may not be uniform across the state until the federal regulations are clarified. . Meredith Clark, Marie Claire, "Is CBD Even Legal Where You Live?," 12 Apr. 2019 After clarifying that the highlighter brush was the correct selection, Chapman explained that the fluffier bristles help give foundation a lighter application. Devon Abelman, Allure, "The Game-Changing Power of Applying Your Foundation With a Highlighter Brush," 22 Mar. 2019 Without net neutrality’s transparency requirements, ISPs won’t have to clarify the limits of a connection, meaning competitors and consumers alike may not even realize what’s occurring. Karl Bode, The Verge, "How the new AT&T could bully its way to streaming domination," 18 Dec. 2018 Reports of a cast feud became so loud, though, that Cattrall's costar Sarah Jessica Parker had to clarify that there's no fight between the two. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "This Weird Samantha Plotline Might Be Why Kim Cattrall Passed on Sex and the City 3," 27 Nov. 2018 Just to clarify: I was asked to present video of the year by MTV! Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Madonna's Tribute to Aretha Franklin at the VMAs Sparks Outrage," 21 Aug. 2018 The letter did not specify whether the minor involved is a current or former member of Queen of Apostles, and the archdiocese, through a spokeswoman, declined to clarify. Steven Martinez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Queen of Apostles priest in Pewaukee on leave following allegation of inappropriate contact with minor," 11 May 2018 Try it as the last layer in your nighttime skin-care routine to help seal in the ingredients of your clarifying products. Allure, "8 Game-Changing Hacks You Didn't Know You Could Do With Vaseline," 22 Mar. 2019 Terri put those rumors to rest two years ago by clarifying a few things about her dating life. Katina Beniaris, Woman's Day, "Steve Irwin's Wife Reveals the Heartbreaking Reason Why She Hasn't Dated Since He Died," 22 Feb. 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

18 Apr 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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