explanation

noun
ex·​pla·​na·​tion | \ ˌek-splə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce explanation (audio) \

Definition of explanation

1 : the act or process of explaining
2 : something that explains gave no explanation

Keep scrolling for more

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

These explanations, however, were hard to spot because there was so little quality data about the gig economy’s size. Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, "How Estimates of the Gig Economy Went Wrong," 7 Jan. 2019 So my explanation was not grounded in anything other than me trying to excuse my poor showing. Danielle Sepulveres, SELF, "My Exercise-Induced Acid Reflux Almost Made Me Stop Running," 7 Nov. 2018 But aliens are a very bold claim to make when natural explanations are still on the table. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Why we shouldn’t cry ‘aliens’ about that interstellar space rock just yet," 6 Nov. 2018 Both explanations are partly correct, although the degree to which one or the other is the major factor differs among individual men. Andrew L. Yarrow, Vox, "I spoke to hundreds of American men who still can’t find work," 15 Sep. 2018 This combination of results is what gives the researchers some confidence that their explanation is more likely than dark matter annihilation. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Gamma ray evidence for dark matter outshone by a flock of pulsars," 10 Aug. 2018 Here’s his explanation of why men are frightened of women. Laurie Penny, Longreads, "Peterson’s Complaint," 12 July 2018 His shifting explanations included his statement that the baby had died and been buried. Jeff Truesdell, PEOPLE.com, "Montana 'Miracle' Baby: Suspect Allegedly Buried Boy in Mountains Because He Was 'Very Heavy'," 11 July 2018 Here are explanations Advertisement Railroad commissioner? Anna M. Tinsley, star-telegram, "Texas man accused of having sex with neighbor's dog, faces bestiality charge," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'explanation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of explanation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about explanation

Statistics for explanation

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for explanation

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for explanation

explanation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of explanation

: the act or process of making something clear or easy to understand : the act or process of telling, showing, or being the reason for or cause of something
: something (such as a statement or fact) that explains something

explanation

noun
ex·​pla·​na·​tion | \ ˌek-splə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce explanation (audio) \

Kids Definition of explanation

1 : the act or process of making clear or giving reasons for “Nothin' happened,” said Stacey in explanation— Mildred D. Taylor, Roll of Thunder
2 : a statement that makes something clear or gives reasons for something

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on explanation

What made you want to look up explanation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

one that collects or salvages junk

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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