ex·​plan·​a·​to·​ry | \ ik-ˈspla-nə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce explanatory (audio) \

Definition of explanatory

: serving to explain explanatory notes

Other Words from explanatory

explanatorily \ ik-​ˌspla-​nə-​ˈtȯr-​ə-​lē How to pronounce explanatory (audio) \ 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 The differences were partly self-explanatory — one ball was harder than the other — but softball also used a wider court. New York Times, 4 May 2022 The iPhone, Mac, and iPad categories are self-explanatory. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, 28 Apr. 2022 Lower or reduced sodium is pretty self-explanatory. Washington Post, 9 Apr. 2021 This explanatory article may be periodically updated. Amara Omeokwe, WSJ, 27 Mar. 2022 The White House official said digital creators have produced explanatory content about Ukraine, generating millions of views and providing information about the crisis to younger generations in particular. Sara Cook, CBS News, 11 Mar. 2022 There are simply too many possible explanatory variables to say with any certainty which ones were the most important only by observing outcomes. Dominic Pino, National Review, 17 Feb. 2022 Seems self-explanatory, and yet… Don’t swim in the hot springs. J.d. Simkins, Sunset Magazine, 8 Feb. 2022 He was awarded the 25th Human Rights Press Awards 2021 in explanatory feature writing for his coverage of Delhi communal violence in February 2020, according to The Kashmir Walla. Rhea Mogul And Esha Mitra, CNN, 7 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of explanatory

1600, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About explanatory

Time Traveler for explanatory

Time Traveler

The first known use of explanatory was in 1600

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near explanatory




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for explanatory

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Explanatory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/explanatory. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for explanatory


ex·​plan·​a·​to·​ry | \ ik-ˈspla-nə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce explanatory (audio) \

Kids Definition of explanatory

: giving explanation explanatory notes

More from Merriam-Webster on explanatory

Nglish: Translation of explanatory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of explanatory for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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