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 explicate (audio) \ noun
explicator \ ˈek-​splə-​ˌkā-​tər How to pronounce explicate (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 The author explicates Stone’s fiction and expands its context. Dwight Garner, New York Times, "The Life of Robert Stone, Who Captured American Energies in Intense, Foreboding Novels," 9 Mar. 2020 Yet the generation that knows Jim Crow America only from hearsay ought to know what Belafonte explicates in this aggrieved, damaged, nonpareil persona. Armond White, National Review, "Kansas City: Belafonte’s Greatest Political Lecture on Film," 11 Mar. 2020 In the century after Sade’s revival, a shocking number of intellectuals fell under his spell, explicated him, and defended him. Mitchell Abidor, The New York Review of Books, "Reading Sade in the Age of Epstein," 12 Feb. 2020 The songs, when not explicating the wisp of a story, describe varieties of cat, such as the Gumbie Cat and the Railway Cat, while the cast, on-screen as on-stage, have cat ears, fur, and tails. Daniel Drake, The New York Review of Books, "The Slog Comes in on Little Cat Feet," 4 Jan. 2020 Thompson brilliantly explicates the nuances of the answer. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Is WeWork Really a Tech Company? The Answer Matters—Data Sheet," 6 Sep. 2019 Despite multiple conferences dedicated to explicating Mochizuki’s proof, number theorists have struggled to come to grips with its underlying ideas. Quanta Magazine, "Titans of Mathematics Clash Over Epic Proof of ABC Conjecture," 20 Sep. 2018 Consequently, if Mueller had recommended obstruction charges against Trump based on the legal analysis explicated in Volume II of the report, then the Justice Department would have rejected the recommendation and the legal analysis. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "How Mueller’s Lawyers Spun the OLC Guidance on Indicting a Sitting President," 28 July 2019 And investment guy Adam Seessel explicates the risks of buying shares of Chinese Internet juggernaut Tencent. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Can Anyone Fix the DMV?—Data Sheet," 25 July 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of explicate was in 1531

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Cite this Entry

“Explicate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/explicate. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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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