explicit

adjective
ex·​plic·​it | \ik-ˈspli-sət \

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

explicitly adverb
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

It was done in a way that was not explicit, even to some of the people that were working on it. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "After 20,000 workers walked out, Google said it got the message. The workers disagree.," 21 Nov. 2018 Moreover, the 1978 bill gave the president—not the Fed—explicit, perpetual authority to propose alternative targets for inflation and unemployment to Congress. Amar Bhidé, WSJ, "Congress Should Set the Fed’s Inflation Target—Ideally at Zero," 6 Nov. 2018 Grassley then took a more explicit shot at the conduct of Senate Democrats at Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings earlier this month. Gregg Re, Fox News, "Rachel Mitchell, prosecutor experienced in sex-crimes cases, to question Kavanaugh and Ford, Grassley announces," 27 Sep. 2018 The forthcoming park project, in the city’s fast-changing Anacostia neighborhood, has a much more explicit social justice and equity platform. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Can high-profile park projects, catalysts for development, play nice with neighboring communities?," 17 July 2018 The company also gave Snoo a more explicit purpose: to discover and explore humanity. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "The Transformative Power of Reddit's Alien Mascot," 6 July 2018 Technically, the mild-mannered Yi was just setting a more explicit timetable for reforms announced last November. Bloomberg.com, "China Quietly Rolled Out a Very Big Bang," 19 Apr. 2018 The explicit goal of the 90-day ban — the thing that would cause Trump to lift it even before the 90 days were up — is getting Mexico to sign a safe-third-country agreement with the US. Dara Lind, Vox, "The asylum ban — Trump’s boldest immigration power grab yet — explained," 12 Nov. 2018 The focus on explicit misconduct misses the vast majority of harassment. Ben Guarino, The Verge, "An academic reported sexual harassment. Her university allegedly retaliated," 12 Nov. 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

5 Dec 2018

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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 \

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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