explanation

noun

ex·​pla·​na·​tion ˌek-splə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce explanation (audio)
1
: the act or process of explaining
2
: something that explains
gave no explanation

Examples of explanation in a Sentence

The professor's explanation was that the poem is really a parody. an explanation of photosynthesis that most museum visitors will be able to understand
Recent Examples on the Web When the explanation comes from but one voice in a cacophony of them, being an authority on the subject tends to matter little. Paul Fitzgerald, Rolling Stone, 15 Apr. 2024 These are stigmatized explanations of why suicide happens and can discourage people with suicidal ideation from asking for help. Sarah Schuster, Health, 14 Apr. 2024 In Saturday’s attack, however, Iran telling offered no explanation for the seizure other than to say the MSC Aries had links to Israel. Jon Gambrell, Fortune, 13 Apr. 2024 Asked for an explanation, Wicker pointed toward the middle of the field. Kirk Kenney, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Apr. 2024 Savannah and Laura’s dishes, both using wild pistachio spice, looked and tasted beautiful, but their comfortable/uncomfortable duality theme went over the judges’ heads without a detailed explanation of their concept. Rachel Bernhard, Journal Sentinel, 10 Apr. 2024 Still, surgical site infections occur following about 1 in 30 procedures, typically with no explanation. Chloe Bryson-Cahn, The Conversation, 10 Apr. 2024 Some lawyers involved in the Dominion litigation doubted that was the full explanation. David Enrich, New York Times, 10 Apr. 2024 Solar eclipses have long triggered fanciful explanations and warnings, from religious mythology to modern-day superstition. Bill Chappell, NPR, 8 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'explanation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of explanation was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near explanation

Cite this Entry

“Explanation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/explanation. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

explanation

noun
ex·​pla·​na·​tion ˌek-splə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce explanation (audio)
1
: the act or process of explaining
2
: a statement that makes something clear

More from Merriam-Webster on explanation

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!