explain away

verb

Definition of explain away

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to get rid of by or as if by explanation

  3. 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>

1688

First Known Use of explain away

1688


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