explicit

adjective
ex·​plic·​it | \ ik-ˈspli-sət How to pronounce explicit (audio) \

Definition of explicit

1a : fully revealed or expressed without vagueness, implication, or ambiguity : leaving no question as to meaning or intent explicit instructions
b : open in the depiction of nudity or sexuality explicit books and films
2 : fully developed or formulated an explicit plan an explicit notion of our objective
3 : unambiguous in expression was very explicit on how we are to behave
4 of a mathematical function : defined by an expression containing only independent variables — compare implicit sense 1c

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Other Words from explicit

explicitness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for explicit

explicit, definite, express, specific mean perfectly clear in meaning. explicit implies such verbal plainness and distinctness that there is no need for inference and no room for difficulty in understanding. explicit instructions definite stresses precise, clear statement or arrangement that leaves no doubt or indecision. the law is definite in such cases express implies both explicitness and direct and positive utterance. her express wishes specific applies to what is precisely and fully treated in detail or particular. two specific criticisms

Examples of explicit in a Sentence

From closer restrictions on sexually explicit writing came the success, in the mid-19th century, of the novelist George Thompson, who combined graphically violent scenes set in urban dystopias with coy peekaboo references to sex. — Susan Dominus, New York Times Book Review, 5 Apr. 2009 … the cheerleaders in Washington wore dreads and leather pants and those burdensome-looking collections of buttons (those … skeins of explicit ideology), rather than letter sweaters and pleated skirts … — Jonathan Franzen, New Yorker, 5 Feb. 2001 Therefore, the Administration's policy was the explicit, if unpublicized, one that it was necessary to allow Saddam Hussein to put down the rebellions. — Elizabeth Drew, New Yorker, 6 May 1991 They were given explicit instructions. Changes to the property can't be done without their explicit consent. The law is very explicit about how these measures should be enacted. a song with explicit lyrics The movie contains scenes of explicit violence. two people engaging in explicit sex
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Recent Examples on the Web

Opposition politicians have already made clear that the explicit purpose of this government would be to secure another Brexit extension from Brussels and then initiate fresh elections. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Boris Johnson is taking British democracy to the brink," 30 Aug. 2019 State troopers were notified Tuesday morning of allegations that a principal at the school was in possession of and possibly distributing explicit images involving a minor. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky principal who banned books over 'homosexual content' faces child porn charges," 29 Aug. 2019 This isn’t the first time that a private entity has sent something into space without explicit permission. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Why stowaway creatures on the Moon confound international space law," 16 Aug. 2019 Facebook may not have data collection as the explicit purpose of its VoIP programs, but that doesn’t mean the social network isn’t doing so. Anna Washenko, Ars Technica, "iOS 13 privacy feature will force total overhaul for Facebook apps," 6 Aug. 2019 The explicit purpose was to reverse the sequence of the past 50 years of peace efforts (e.g. Oslo, Paris, Annapolis) – that is, to share an economic vision before delving into divisive political real estate battles. Fortune, "The Bahrain Conference: What the Experts and the Media Missed," 30 June 2019 When money changes hands for that explicit purpose, though, the law suddenly intrudes. Steve Chapman, chicagotribune.com, "Are Americans ready to legalize prostitution?," 7 June 2019 This means that despite widespread support for Roe v. Wade nationwide and in both parties, just over two dozen men have voted for a bill whose explicit purpose is to challenge the Supreme Court decision. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "These Are the 25 Men Who Voted for the Most Restrictive Abortion Ban in America," 15 May 2019 They have been uprooted from their families, some forcibly, and sent hundreds, even thousands, of miles away for the explicit purpose of stripping them of their culture and heritage. John D'anna, azcentral, "Think child separations are unprecedented? Here are 3 heartbreaking examples from history," 21 June 2018

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

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for explicit

French or Medieval Latin; French explicite, from Medieval Latin explicitus, from Latin, past participle of explicare — see explicate

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Statistics for explicit

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for explicit

The first known use of explicit was in 1549

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More Definitions for explicit

explicit

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of explicit

: very clear and complete : leaving no doubt about the meaning
: showing or referring very openly to nudity, violence, or sexual activity
: openly shown

explicit

adjective
ex·​plic·​it | \ ik-ˈspli-sət How to pronounce explicit (audio) \

Kids Definition of explicit

: so clear in statement that there is no doubt about the meaning explicit instructions

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Comments on explicit

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