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

After Neymar’s post, dozens of fake accounts with explicit photos appeared under the name of his accuser. Washington Post, "In Brazil, sex assault claim against soccer star Neymar sparks fierce debate," 7 June 2019 Each had at least one type of explicit photo or video of their genitals, while some included many different types. Fox News, "Victims of Iowa coach can still come forward, agent says," 23 Oct. 2018 Each had at least one type of explicit photo or video of their genitals, while some included many different types. Ryan J. Foley, The Seattle Times, "Victims of Iowa coach can still come forward, agent says," 22 Oct. 2018 One man allegedly coerced hundreds of teenage girls into sending explicit photos and videos over Facebook and Kik, according to a federal grand jury indictment. Bartie Scott, Teen Vogue, "A Man Allegedly Forced Hundreds of Teens to Send Him Nude Photos on Social Media," 6 Sep. 2018 Flooded with flutes and one billion references to getting it on, Tory Lanez keeps it pretty explicit. Natalie Maher, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Sexiest Songs of 2019 (So Far)," 29 Mar. 2019 After a Facebook threat that similarly threatened to post more explicit images, Cooper filed a police report — and eight more images exclusively available to Broems were then uploaded to Tumblr. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "The first revenge porn case has been filed under new NYC law," 15 Apr. 2018 These types of data collection aren't necessarily explicit in privacy policies or settings. Barbara Ortutay, chicagotribune.com, "What Facebook's privacy policy allows may surprise you," 25 Mar. 2018 Now that positioning has become much more explicit. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft dismisses Office 2019 as old and dumb in videos promoting Office 365 subscriptions," 6 Feb. 2019

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

20 Jun 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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