ex·plan·a·to·ry | \ik-ˈspla-nə-ˌtȯr-ē \

Definition of explanatory 

: serving to explain explanatory notes

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Other Words from explanatory

explanatorily \ik-ˌspla-nə-ˈtȯr-ə-lē \ adverb

Examples of explanatory in a Sentence

There are explanatory notes at the front of the book. the explanatory section has as its heading “What the New Tax Changes Mean”

Recent Examples on the Web

Eschewing explanatory and identifying onscreen text, Wang-Breal (Tough Love) uses a mostly verite approach to immerse the viewer in the work of the court and the nonprofits it partners with. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Blowin' Up': Film Review | Tribeca 2018," 27 Apr. 2018 The project went on to win a 2018 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. Grace Palmieri, azcentral, "How to get tickets for 'The Wall' documentary film event in Phoenix," 29 June 2018 Another somewhat self-explanatory tip, but obey the local laws when using fireworks. Joshua Trudell, ajc, "10 ways to enjoy Fourth of July fireworks safely," 27 June 2018 The Streaming, All, and P2P options are self-explanatory. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "Hide My Ass Pro 4 review: A noticeable upgrade with great speeds," 27 June 2018 The film's weakest moments come when explanatory scenes appear to be trimmed or downright cut to maintain a brisk pace. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Incredibles 2 review: Brad Bird, Pixar are on fire with this superhero sequel," 15 June 2018 This simple and determinate explanatory style is highly intuitive and very efficient. Joseph Franklin, Scientific American, "Suicide Prediction Remains Difficult Despite Decades of Research," 11 June 2018 Ugly Sweater Party at Howl at the Moon 26 W. Hubbard St. 312-863-7427 Break out your ugliest holiday sweater and head to Howl at the Moon for its annual Ugly Sweater Party, which is pretty self-explanatory. Adam Lukach, RedEye Chicago, "Get in the holiday spirit with these 10 Christmas activities in Chicago," 14 Dec. 2017 Jota dissects the judiciary; Nexo specialises in explanatory journalism with lots of graphics and timelines. The Economist, "Latin America’s new media are growing up," 14 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of explanatory

1600, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

29 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for explanatory

The first known use of explanatory was in 1600

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More Definitions for explanatory



English Language Learners Definition of explanatory

: made or included in order to explain something


ex·plan·a·to·ry | \ik-ˈspla-nə-ˌtȯr-ē \

Kids Definition of explanatory

: giving explanation explanatory notes

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