ex·​pli·​cate | \ ˈek-splə-ˌkāt How to pronounce explicate (audio) \
explicated; explicating

Definition of explicate

transitive verb

1 : to give a detailed explanation of
2 : to develop the implications of : analyze logically

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Other Words from explicate

explication \ ˌek-​splə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce explication (audio) \ noun
explicator \ ˈek-​splə-​ˌkā-​tər How to pronounce explicator (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for explicate

explain, expound, explicate, elucidate, interpret mean to make something clear or understandable. explain implies a making plain or intelligible what is not immediately obvious or entirely known. explain the rules expound implies a careful often elaborate explanation. expounding a scientific theory explicate adds the idea of a developed or detailed analysis. explicate a poem elucidate stresses the throwing of light upon as by offering details or motives previously unclear or only implicit. elucidate an obscure passage interpret adds to explain the need for imagination or sympathy or special knowledge in dealing with something. interpreting a work of art

Examples of explicate in a Sentence

an essay explicating a theory the physicist did his best to explicate the wave theory of light for the audience of laymen

Recent Examples on the Web

His ability to explicate how war culture can absorb antiwar pronouncements is particularly striking. Matt Gallagher, WSJ, "‘On War and Writing’ Review: The Rifle and the Pen," 24 May 2018 Here the authors celebrate Blackness and all of its hues while explicating the tensions between being seen and unseen all at once. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "TEACHING FOR BLACK LIVES," 10 July 2018 In the words of Yaakov's blessing as explicated by Rashi: Troops (armies) shall be found of Gad. (Genesis 49:19) Still, when Joseph is sold Gad does not come forward to protect him. Rabbi Avi Weiss, Jewish Journal, "In times of need, run to Israel rather than from it Opinion," 9 July 2018 Meanwhile, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, who once wrote an entire book explicating his belief that the vast majority of the federal government violates the Constitution, is contemplating a new policy to support coal. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Environmental Agenda No Longer Pretending to Care About the Free Market," 14 May 2018 At various moments throughout this avian journey, Ms. Uglow swoops down to examine and explicate with hawk-like acuity the ludic complexities of Lear’s writings. Jonathan Cott, WSJ, "‘Mr. Lear’ Review: An Airborne Life of Art and Nonsense," 20 Apr. 2018 Long passages in Comey’s thesis are also devoted to explicating the various sorts of pride that Niebuhr argued could afflict human beings — most notably, moral pride and spiritual pride, which can lead to the sin of self-righteousness. New York Times, "James Comey Has a Story to Tell. It’s Very Persuasive.," 12 Apr. 2018 David Rankin Barbee, a Washington, D.C., gadfly who regularly sought to explicate and defend the white South to outsiders, had offered his theory about the authorship of Behind the Scenes to up-and-coming Washington journalist Bess Furman. Kate Masur, Smithsonian, "How One Amateur Historian Brought Us the Stories of African-Americans Who Knew Abraham Lincoln," 20 Feb. 2018 What can be said about Queen Bey that hasn’t already been said, done, sang, texted, tweeted, explicated, unpacked, imagined? Angela Helm, The Root, "The Root 100 No. 1s: Beyoncé Will Forever Be Bey-ond. She’s So Fly, They Named a Fly After Her.," 11 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'explicate.' 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 explicate

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for explicate

Latin explicatus, past participle of explicare, literally, to unfold, from ex- + plicare to fold — more at ply

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Time Traveler for explicate

The first known use of explicate was in 1531

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English Language Learners Definition of explicate

formal : to explain or analyze (something, such as an idea or work of literature)

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More from Merriam-Webster on explicate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with explicate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for explicate

Britannica English: Translation of explicate for Arabic Speakers

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showing courage and determination

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