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

Fashion and Hollywood have long had a reciprocal relationship, but this shoot—conducted in New York over two days shortly before Christmas in what Ghesquière described as a tour de force of logistics—makes the synergies explicit. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Who Needs a Runway? Nicolas Ghesquière Hires an A-List Power Posse For His Louis Vuitton Pre-Fall Lookbook," 14 Jan. 2019 But Amazon hasn’t updated its privacy policies to make that explicit. Janelle Nanos, BostonGlobe.com, "Amazon dressed me for a week. Here’s what I learned.," 2 July 2018 Griffin posted a Facebook Live video (contains explicit language) showing her son's injuries. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Prosecutor won't file charges in assault on 1 year old at day care," 10 May 2018 There’s no need to get explicit about this, but the only thing like slavery is slavery. Roy Bragg, San Antonio Express-News, "Racist? No. Unfair? Yep.," 29 Mar. 2018 Earlier this month, when Tumblr announced a ban on most kinds of explicit content, Bansbach says Furby blogs were hit oddly hard by suspensions and content violation warnings. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "Every Furby gets a home," 21 Dec. 2018 So far, their arguments have shown no explicit signs of winning over the two Republican senators seen as most likely to break ranks and oppose Kavanaugh: Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: GOP candidates caught in a bind on Medicaid," 13 July 2018 In 2014, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence sued a Missouri gun dealer who allegedly sold a gun to a severely mentally ill woman — over the explicit pleading and warning of the woman’s mother. Nestor Ramos, BostonGlobe.com, "Most gun deaths are suicides. A bill now before Mass. Legislature could help prevent them," 8 May 2018 Like it or not, the complex global financial system rests on government promises to pay, explicit and implicit. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "What Really Happened in 2008," 18 Sep. 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

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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a servile follower or underling

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