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ex•plain



Pronunciation: (ik-splān'), [key]
v.t.
1. to make plain or clear; render understandable or intelligible: to explain an obscure point.
2. to make known in detail: to explain how to do something.
3. to assign a meaning to; interpret: How can you explain such a silly remark?
4. to make clear the cause or reason of; account for: I cannot explain his strange behavior.

v.i.
1. to give an explanation.
2. explain away,
a. to diminish or nullify the significance of by explanation: He couldn't explain away his absence from home at the time the robbery was committed.
b. to dispel (doubts, difficulties, etc.) by explanation: She explained away the child's fears.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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