Definition of explain
1a : to make known explain the secret of your successb : to make plain or understandable footnotes that explain the terms
2 : to give the reason for or cause of unable to explain his strange conduct
3 : to show the logical development or relationships of explained the new theory
: to make something plain or understandable a report that suggests rather than explains
explainableplay \ik-ˈsplā-nə-bəl\ adjective
: to clarify one's statements or the reasons for one's conduct
Examples of explain in a Sentence
I need a lawyer to explain this contract to me.
The professor explained the poem to the class.
She explained how the machine worked.
I explained to them that I would be available by phone.
Scientists could not explain the strange lights in the sky.
I don't know how to explain the dog's strange behavior.
We asked him to explain his reasons to us.
Can you explain why no one was informed earlier?
That explains why we were so far behind schedule.
Give me a chance to explain.
Recent Examples of explain from the Web
Yet the way the decision was explained and deep distrust of the network among President Donald Trump’s supporters provoked a backlash Wednesday.
This period of early interbreeding could explain the closer affinity of Neanderthal mDNA to modern humans than their Denisovan cousins.
Demma explained to a NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune reporter that the show would actually be streamed live to the screens at the main stage, and Xscape would continue their performance inside the Superlounge.
Ross Ramsey, co-founder and executive editor of the Texas Tribune, explained the politics behind the reason Governor Abbott hasn’t done the official paperwork.
My guess is the owners would explain that this is a feature rather than a bug.
There are definitely tricks to putting together a successful picnic meal, Malarkey explained.
Mercer wrote the chorus recalling the his childhood home in Burnside Island, Savannah, Georgia, which overlooked Back River, explains Savannah Now.
John Turturro is in Cuba, and calls his close personal friend Anthony Hopkins on the phone to inform him that there is a page in the Book of Kells that explains why the Transformer planet is about to collide with ours.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'explain'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Synonym Discussion of explain
EXPLAIN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of explain for English Language Learners
: to make (something) clear or easy to understand
: to tell, show, or be the reason for or cause of something
EXPLAIN Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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