elu·​ci·​date | \ i-ˈlü-sə-ˌdāt How to pronounce elucidate (audio) \
elucidated; elucidating

Definition of elucidate

transitive verb

: to make lucid especially by explanation or analysis elucidate a text

intransitive verb

: to give a clarifying explanation

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Other Words from elucidate

elucidation \ i-​ˌlü-​sə-​ˈdā-​shən How to pronounce elucidate (audio) \ noun
elucidative \ i-​ˈlü-​sə-​ˌdā-​tiv How to pronounce elucidate (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for elucidate

explain, expound, explicate, elucidate, interpret mean to make something clear or understandable. explain implies a making plain or intelligible what is not immediately obvious or entirely known. explain the rules expound implies a careful often elaborate explanation. expounding a scientific theory explicate adds the idea of a developed or detailed analysis. explicate a poem elucidate stresses the throwing of light upon as by offering details or motives previously unclear or only implicit. elucidate an obscure passage interpret adds to explain the need for imagination or sympathy or special knowledge in dealing with something. interpreting a work of art

Did you know?

To "elucidate" is to make something clear that was formerly murky or confusing - and it is perfectly clear how the modern term got that meaning. "Elucidate" traces to the Latin term lucidus, which means "lucid." "Lucidus" in turn descends from the verb lucēre, meaning "to shine." So "elucidating" can be thought of as the figurative equivalent of shining a light on something to make it easier to see. "Lucēre" has also produced other shining offspring in English. Among its descendants are "lucid" itself (which can mean "shining," "clear-headed," or "easily understood"), "lucent" (meaning "giving off light" or "easily seen through"), and "translucent" (meaning "partly transparent" or "clear enough for light to pass through").

Examples of elucidate in a Sentence

When asked for details, he declined to elucidate further. colored charts that really help to elucidate the points made in the text
Recent Examples on the Web Their blooms elucidate the first warm day of the season as not just a feeling, but a fact. Sara Tardiff, Vogue, 10 Sep. 2021 Among the institutional initiatives included in the Rijksmuseum’s exhibition is the use of some 70 new labels throughout the museum to elucidate the hidden or little-known connections of historic art works to slavery. Washington Post, 10 June 2021 Fundamental research is research that tries to unearth and better elucidate the mechanisms behind health and disease. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 6 July 2021 While discrepancies in the death data elucidate the crisis is out-of-control, several other systems—medical infrastructure, dearth of staff, and shortage of drugs—have all failed, too. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 27 May 2021 These comparisons elucidate Dürer’s radicalism, and establish him as a revolutionary and thoroughly modern artist. The New Yorker, 24 May 2021 The Roots drummer’s latest book will focus on one song from each year between 1971 to 2021 and elucidate on how that track was informed by or captures the politics and culture of that specific year. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, 14 Apr. 2021 New installations, all created by Kusama and her studio in close partnership with the NYBG team, elucidate this through line. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, 12 Apr. 2021 The inscriptions may help elucidate what monastic life in the region looked like at the time, writes Mohammed Abu Zaid for Arab News. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Mar. 2021

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

circa 1568, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for elucidate

Late Latin elucidatus, past participle of elucidare, from Latin e- + lucidus lucid

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Time Traveler for elucidate

Time Traveler

The first known use of elucidate was circa 1568

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Last Updated

25 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Elucidate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elucidate. Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for elucidate



English Language Learners Definition of elucidate

: to make (something that is hard to understand) clear or easy to understand

More from Merriam-Webster on elucidate

Nglish: Translation of elucidate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elucidate for Arabic Speakers


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