To explain away
Explain Ex*plain" ([e^]ks*pl[=a]n"), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Explained}([e^]ks*pl[=a]nd"); p. pr. & vb. n. {Explaining}.] [L. explandare to flatten, spread out, explain; ex out + plandare to make level or plain, planus plain: cf. OF. esplaner, explaner. See {Plain},a., and cf. {Esplanade}.] 1. To flatten; to spread out; to unfold; to expand. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

The horse-chestnut is . . . ready to explain its leaf. --Evelyn. [1913 Webster]

2. To make plain, manifest, or intelligible; to clear of obscurity; to expound; to unfold and illustrate the meaning of; as, to explain a chapter of the Bible. [1913 Webster]

Commentators to explain the difficult passages to you. --Gay. [1913 Webster]

{To explain away}, to get rid of by explanation. ``Those explain the meaning quite away.'' --Pope.

Syn: To expound; interpret; elucidate; clear up. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • explain away something — explain away (something) to invent reasons why something is unimportant. You will find it hard to explain away all these mistakes. Rather than face the truth, we try to explain it away …   New idioms dictionary

  • explain away — (something) to invent reasons why something is unimportant. You will find it hard to explain away all these mistakes. Rather than face the truth, we try to explain it away …   New idioms dictionary

  • explain away — transitive verb transitive verb 1. : to get rid of by or as if by explanation was trying to speak some words that … would explain away all the mistakes and misunderstandings of life Ellen Glasgow 2. : to minimize the significance of by or as if… …   Useful english dictionary

  • explain away — phrasal verb [transitive] Word forms explain away : present tense I/you/we/they explain away he/she/it explains away present participle explaining away past tense explained away past participle explained away to tell someone about something in a… …   English dictionary

  • explain away — {v.} To explain (something) so that it does not seem true or important. * /John explained away his unfinished homework by showing the teacher his broken arm in a cast./ * /It is hard to explain away Abraham Lincoln s dream about being dead, which …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • explain away — {v.} To explain (something) so that it does not seem true or important. * /John explained away his unfinished homework by showing the teacher his broken arm in a cast./ * /It is hard to explain away Abraham Lincoln s dream about being dead, which …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • explain\ away — v To explain (smth) so that it does not seem true or important. John explained away his unfinished homework by showing the teacher his broken arm in a cast. It is hard to explain away Abraham Lincoln s dream about being dead, which he had a few… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • explain away — PHRASAL VERB If someone explains away a mistake or a bad situation they are responsible for, they try to indicate that it is unimportant or that it is not really their fault. [V P n (not pron)] He evaded her questions about the war and tried to… …   English dictionary

  • explain away — verb To dismiss or minimize by explanation, especially with regard to problems. He couldnt just explain away all of his problems. See Also: explain, explanation, explanatory …   Wiktionary

  • explain away — transitive verb Date: 1704 1. to get rid of by or as if by explanation 2. to minimize the significance of by or as if by explanation < explains his faults, but does not try to explain them away M. K. Spears > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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