explain away

explained away; explaining away; explains away

Definition of explain away

transitive verb

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

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Examples of explain away in a Sentence

after the surprise attack, military leaders struggled to explain away the nation's unpreparedness 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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Time Traveler for explain away

Time Traveler

The first known use of explain away was in 1688

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Cite this Entry

“Explain away.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/explain%20away. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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