elucidate

verb
elu·​ci·​date | \ i-ˈlü-sə-ˌdāt How to pronounce elucidate (audio) \
elucidated; elucidating

Definition of elucidate

transitive verb

: to make lucid especially by explanation or analysis elucidate a text

intransitive verb

: to give a clarifying explanation

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Other Words from elucidate

elucidation \ i-​ˌlü-​sə-​ˈdā-​shən How to pronounce elucidation (audio) \ noun
elucidative \ i-​ˈlü-​sə-​ˌdā-​tiv How to pronounce elucidative (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for elucidate

explain, expound, explicate, elucidate, interpret mean to make something clear or understandable. explain implies a making plain or intelligible what is not immediately obvious or entirely known. explain the rules expound implies a careful often elaborate explanation. expounding a scientific theory explicate adds the idea of a developed or detailed analysis. explicate a poem elucidate stresses the throwing of light upon as by offering details or motives previously unclear or only implicit. elucidate an obscure passage interpret adds to explain the need for imagination or sympathy or special knowledge in dealing with something. interpreting a work of art

Did You Know?

To "elucidate" is to make something clear that was formerly murky or confusing - and it is perfectly clear how the modern term got that meaning. "Elucidate" traces to the Latin term lucidus, which means "lucid." "Lucidus" in turn descends from the verb lucēre, meaning "to shine." So "elucidating" can be thought of as the figurative equivalent of shining a light on something to make it easier to see. "Lucēre" has also produced other shining offspring in English. Among its descendants are "lucid" itself (which can mean "shining," "clear-headed," or "easily understood"), "lucent" (meaning "giving off light" or "easily seen through"), and "translucent" (meaning "partly transparent" or "clear enough for light to pass through").

Examples of elucidate in a Sentence

When asked for details, he declined to elucidate further. colored charts that really help to elucidate the points made in the text

Recent Examples on the Web

Ideological minorities — including the smallest minority, the individual — can get trampled by the unity stampede (as my friend Kevin Williamson masterfully elucidates in his new book, The Smallest Minority). Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "Unity Can Be Worse than Partisanship," 26 July 2019 Is unfit to protect government of the people, by the people, for the people as elucidated in the Gettysburg Address. NBC News, "'Unfit to be president': Full text of House impeachment resolution on Trump," 17 July 2019 This is especially true in elucidating the evolution of human traits. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘Evolutionary Math and Just-So Stories’," 7 Sep. 2018 Much of the play is spent elucidating the minds of characters thrashing out the debate over patriotic duty and private conscience. Los Angeles Times, "Review: At the Getty Villa, Sophocles gets wounded in Aaron Posner’s revamp of ‘Philoctetes’," 6 Sep. 2019 Berges is widely seen as leading the theoretical effort, with a series of seminal papers since 2008 elucidating the physics of universal scaling. Wired, "Fractal Patterns Offer Clues to the Universe's Origin," 11 Aug. 2019 Joe elucidated his view that New York was the industry’s one and only mecca. Nell Zink, Harper's magazine, "Marmalade Sky," 24 June 2019 Berges is widely seen as leading the theoretical effort, with a series of seminal papers since 2008 elucidating the physics of universal scaling. Wired, "Fractal Patterns Offer Clues to the Universe's Origin," 11 Aug. 2019 Berges is widely seen as leading the theoretical effort, with a series of seminal papers since 2008 elucidating the physics of universal scaling. Wired, "Fractal Patterns Offer Clues to the Universe's Origin," 11 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elucidate.' 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 elucidate

circa 1568, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for elucidate

Late Latin elucidatus, past participle of elucidare, from Latin e- + lucidus lucid

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Dictionary Entries near elucidate

Elsinoë

eluant

eluate

elucidate

elucidator

eluctation

elucubrate

Statistics for elucidate

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for elucidate

The first known use of elucidate was circa 1568

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More Definitions for elucidate

elucidate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of elucidate

formal : to make (something that is hard to understand) clear or easy to understand

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