clar·​i·​fy·​ing ˈkler-ə-ˌfī-iŋ How to pronounce clarifying (audio)
: making something less confusing or easier to understand : providing clarity
a clarifying question/statement
gave some clarifying information
Here is that rare bird, a clarifying book about an important and muddied subject.Robert Heilbroner
… he experienced the rare clarifying moment of discovering one's talent …Emma Sandler
: removing impurities or particulates
clarifying lotion/shampoo
In the winery, most traditional practices and materials are sanctioned, such as the use of … bentonite clay as a clarifying agent.Richard Steven Street

Examples of clarifying in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Kyle's clarifying questions ultimately yield a few non-clarifying answers. Jodi Walker,, 16 Sep. 2021 Hank Willis Thomas has meditated on the commercialization of Black stereotypes, in ways that are generally more clarifying than Colescott’s histrionic approach. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 18 Aug. 2022 Tuesday against Brooklyn's collection of wings will provide a more clarifying test. Michael Shapiro, Chron, 6 Mar. 2023 Biden administration officials say that the Russian invasion has been a clarifying moment for some of the bigger powers in Asia as financial sanctions and export bans have been put in place to check Russia. Aamer Madhani and Josh Boak, Chicago Tribune, 19 May 2022 Many of them, however, went to D.C. for two previous events, which were more clarifying. Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker, 15 Jan. 2021 The president’s hospitalization is a clarifying moment for all, but especially for him. Dan Balz, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Oct. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'clarifying.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of clarifying was in 1630

Dictionary Entries Near clarifying

Cite this Entry

“Clarifying.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

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