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.

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