explain away

verb

Definition of explain away

1 : to get rid of by or as if by explanation
2 : to minimize the significance of by or as if by explanation
  • explains his faults, but does not try to explain them away
  • —M. K. Spears

Examples of explain away in a Sentence

  1. after the surprise attack, military leaders struggled to explain away the nation's unpreparedness

  2. tried to explain away his adulterous affairs by saying that men are promiscuous by nature

First Known Use of explain away

1688

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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