Definition of implicit
1a : capable of being understood from something else though unexpressed : implied an implicit assumptionb : involved in the nature or essence of something though not revealed, expressed, or developed : potential a sculptor may see different figures implicit in a block of stone — John Deweyc of a mathematical function : defined by an expression in which the dependent variable and the one or more independent variables are not separated on opposite sides of an equation — compare explicit 4
2 : being without doubt or reserve : unquestioning an implicit trust
Examples of implicit in a sentence
This assumption, implicit in innumerable statements by President Reagan … dictates most of our current political and military programs. —Henry Steele Commager, Atlantic, March 1982
… in the best stories the end is implicit from the beginning. —Joan Aiken, The Writer, May 1968
The goodness and strength implicit within Pen unfold but slowly. —John DeBruyn, LIT, Spring 1966
The movies borrowed from other arts on the way to finding methods implicit in their medium. —Bernard DeVoto, The World of Fiction, 1950
There is a sense of moral duty implicit in her writings.
I have implicit trust in her honesty.
Implicit with a Preposition
Implicit is often followed by a preposition, and that preposition is usually in:
"American Horror Story" is a pretty grisly show. No one should be too surprised by that revelation — it’s sort of the promise implicit in its name, after all.
—Lacy Baugher, The Baltimore Sun, 3 Nov. 2016
On less frequent occasions, implicit may be followed by from, with, or within:
[S]uch a ruling seemed implicit from Fullam’s comments.
—Sean O’Sullivan, The News Journal (Wilmington, DE), 4 October 2006
Implicit with the discovery of oil was the hard truth that it wasn't going to last forever.
—Warren Jones et al., Alaska Dispatch News, 1 June 2016
Russia's president was explicit, calling on the West to pressure Kiev to deliver results. Implicit within that was a threat: that Moscow will not play along with the talks forever.
—Sarah Rainsford, BBC News, 14 Aug. 2016
The black dead ocean looked like a mirror of the night; it was cold, implicit with dread and death…
—Norman Mailer, The Naked and the Dead, 1948
Origin and Etymology of implicit
Latin implicitus, past participle of implicare —see implicate
First Known Use: 1599
IMPLICIT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of implicit for English Language Learners
: understood though not clearly or directly stated
: not affected by doubt
IMPLICIT Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up implicit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).