Definition of elucidate
: to make lucid especially by explanation or analysis elucidate a text
: to give a clarifying explanation
elucidationplay \i-ˌlü-sə-ˈdā-shən\ noun
elucidativeplay \i-ˈlü-sə-ˌdā-tiv\ adjective
elucidatorplay \i-ˈlü-sə-ˌdā-tər\ noun
elucidate was our Word of the Day on 11/20/2011. Hear the podcast!
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 of elucidate from the Web
This vicious takedown by the Miami New Times' Jerry Iannelli elucidates the various ways in which the commission may have been better served by an alternate chair.
In the early 1600s, Johannes Kepler used Tycho Brahe’s detailed astronomical dataset to elucidate certain laws of planetary motion.
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.
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").
Origin and Etymology of elucidate
Late Latin elucidatus, past participle of elucidare, from Latin e- + lucidus lucid
First Known Use: circa 1568
Synonym Discussion of elucidate
ELUCIDATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of elucidate for English Language Learners
: to make (something that is hard to understand) clear or easy to understand
Seen and Heard
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